Edmonton's favourite landmark is getting an upgrade and its igniting heated debates on social media and online. Patrons are voicing their concerns that the iconic hotel will lose its charm with the new proposed upgrades. We've been following this story because the Hotel MacDonald and it's historic character, is one of our favourite spots in the city.
We always say that you don't need to make big changes to your space to have a noticeable difference, and this is a great example of that. When you look at the two images above, you'll see that the upgrade consists of new paint, lighting, flooring and furniture. Whether you like the changes or not, the difference it makes in this space is HUGE.
When you think of some of your favourite spaces you frequently go to, you would probably agree that they are infused with character that may be inspired by travel, culture or history. While that may seem accidental, it's actually well thought out. It's a sign of good design. Good design is thoughtfully carried out in every detail within a space. The Hotel Mac currently embodies a Chateauesque style and every detail embodies that style.
The pushback from the community is that while an upgrade may be necessary, the proposed new design is not keeping with the historical character of the hotel. The thing to keep in mind is that the proposed design is only a rendering for conceptual purposes. Renderings are meant to highlight some of the attributes and overall concept. They're not meant to be an exact depiction of the space.
In business, change is necessary to stay relevant. As designers, we always start a project asking what needs to change and what the desired outcome is. Every business is going to vary in terms of their return on investment (ROI), and it's our job to help the business (our client) achieve the desired outcome.
We love that the city is buzzing about this. We see this as a good thing that people are becoming more informed about architecture and design, and that they're passionate about speaking out about it. That passion is what is going to change the urban landscape of our city for the better.