AC Hotel Harbour Island
Acting as a beacon at the gateway to Harbour Island in downtown Tampa, the 10 story AC Hotel brings an upscale and urban design solution to this mixed-use community.
Balancing the interaction of vehicle access for guests with a pedestrian friendly streetscape environment, the project uses a grand staircase entry with a complementary handicap accessible ramps to easily access the first-floor level from the street elevation to achieve the minimum height requirement of the Coastal High Hazard Area flood plain.
The building design starts with a strong contrast of color for the northwest corner and maintains the existing horizontal brick Harbour Island branding sign as well as the crosswalks and improves the existing conditions of that area with wide sidewalks and safer gathering spaces for pedestrians. The darker vertical corner of the building will be subtly lit in the evening to create an elegant 10-story vertical beacon that respects the significance of the Knights Run Avenue and South Harbour Island Boulevard intersection while making an iconic and recognizable design statement for Harbour Island. The large entablature on the building façade along Knights Run Boulevard provides a visual cue that the pedestrian hotel entrance is located at that spot to invite pedestrian hotel guests and neighborhood residents to enter the building and enjoy the public spaces. Another feature of the building will be an outdoor lounge on the amenities level facing northeast where small meetings and gatherings can occur. This outdoor space will look down the length of Knights Run Avenue and activate the streetscape with people versus vehicles.
The hotel entry located under the Porte Cochere has a large staircase from the vehicle drop off area to the ground floor level with a handicap accessible ramp. The Knights Run Avenue façade incorporates another “Front Door” public entrance with an elegant staircase and outdoor seating areas to bring a “neighborhood gathering” feel with an inviting transparency to pedestrians, Harbour Island residents and hotel guests.
On the amenities level, the design features a board room-sized meeting space available to guests and outside groups wishing to rent the facility. The Hotel lobby reception/check-in is located on this level adjacent to the bar area and limited-service food area providing self-service breakfast and evening hors d’oeurves to compliment the bar feature. All amenities level spaces have a visual connection to the outdoor amenities deck containing a lap pool and general outdoor daytime lounge seating with rolling doors that can be moved away to create a unique indoor/outdoor space to the bar/lounge area. The amenities deck is lined with vegetation to offer a buffer on the pool deck for hotel guests while still providing dynamic views of the area.
The guest room levels above the amenity level contain 29 rooms per floor on 5 floors for a total of 145 guest rooms. Each guest room level is identical to stack the rooms for efficiencies in design, services, utilities and construction cost.