If you haven’t already caught the buzz, Eaton Workshop is a brave new hospitality brand focused on changing the world from the inside out. The company was founded by Hong Kong–born anthropologist Katherine Lo, who says her goal is "to create the ultimate gathering place for today’s artists, visionaries, activists, entrepreneurs, healers, and changemakers."
"Our goal is to imagine the traditional notion of a hotel as a modern-day community center that merges hospitality with culture, media, and impact. Throughout the year, Eaton DC will host a variety of guest activities including panels with some of the nation’s prominent leaders across a variety of cultural topics, screenings of new films and documentaries in Eaton Cinema, new-age and ancient healing treatments at Eaton Wellness including sound baths and crystal healing, and performances by rising artists at one of the many on-site concert venues," says Lo.
New York-based Gachot Studios designed the hotel’s 209 guest rooms, lobby, library, living room, rooftop bar, and cocktail bar. New York–based Parts and Labor Design created the American Son restaurant and bar, Kintsugi coffee shop, Eaton Radio station, Eaton House (a series of private, shared, and communal workspaces), and the brand-new Eaton Wellness center.
Gachot’s founder Christine Gachot worked closely with Lo to design the hotel as a space that would engage the local area, provoke conversation, and promote culture.
"The city has a large international community, with a diverse range of voices, and Lo wanted to embrace all of it," says Gachot.
Each guest room is designed as a pied-a-terre with a residential sensibility. White oak plank floors run throughout the living spaces, and custom furnishings can be found throughout the hotel. The entry foyers are fully paneled in wood, which is a nod to DC's classic turn-of-the-century clubs.
The living room and library are relaxed places for people to congregate, work, read, and enjoy each other’s company. Works by local artists are displayed throughout the space, and the library shelving is stocked with a curated selection of reading material. Classic kilim, Kazak and Moroccan rugs give the rooms a sense of residential relief from the city.
Of all the zones within the hotel, Gachot’s favorite is "Wild Days," a special rooftop space where one can really soak up the magic of the city.
"With beautiful views and a flexible design, the space is truly unique in the city. Shaded by large hand-woven curtains, it is filled with a range of lush interior plantings. It will be changeable, used for events, talks, screenings, and as a traditional bar [for] whomever Lo welcomes into the space. This room is anchored by a beautiful custom tile mural wall rendered in light blues and deep greens, complete with a porthole window looking out to the sky beyond," says Gachot.
Parts and Labor Design’s work can be seen throughout the first and second floors of the hotel, which include a radio station, a cafe, a restaurant, a co-working space, and a movie theater. These spaces flow into one another—the radio station serves as an extension of the cafe with tiered platforms that allow guests to gather during interviews and performances.
"The layout operates intuitively and has thresholds that allow for immediate transition from one space to the next. For instance, the co-working space and American Son bar are separated by a single opening suggesting free passage and motivating exploration of all space beyond. The radio station is nestled under the stairs that lead to the second-floor wellness spa; exposed to the exterior facade, it becomes a media platform for not only the hotel guests but also the DC community" says the Parts and Labor Design’s co-founder Jeremy Levitt.
Levitt and his team recently completed Eaton Wellness—the complex’s wellness center—which features a meditation room and yoga studio, two infrared saunas, and a private holistic treatment room. All of these spaces are finished with sustainable, organic materials.
"When designing the meditation room and yoga studio at Eaton DC’s Wellness Center, Parts and Labor Design were inspired by the design of Zen Buddhist meditation temples and the Integratron in Joshua Tree—it’s truly incredible how they brought this spirit of West Coast spirituality to life in the heart of downtown DC," says Lo. She envisions Eaton Wellness as offering "a radical approach to self-care with a mission and offerings that extend far beyond that of the traditional hotel gym."
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