21C Museum Hotel Oklahoma City

PrizeHonorable Mention in Architectural Design /
Firm LocationNew York, United States
CompanyDeborah Berke Partners
Design TeamDeborah Berke Stephen Brockman Terrence Schroeder Alessandro Preda Olivia Susai Virginia Gray Erin McCormick Alper Besen Matt Zuckerman
Client21c Museum Hotels

Deborah Berke Partners transformed the Ford Motor Company Manufacturing Building, a former Model-T assembly plant originally designed by American modern industrial architect Albert Kahn, into a boutique hotel and contemporary art museum in Oklahoma City. The project contains 135 hotel rooms, 14,000 square feet of exhibition space, a restaurant, bar, and meeting and amenity spaces, and also includes 13,000 square feet of tenant space that will further enliven downtown Oklahoma City. Kahn’s expansive perimeter windows and structural grid of octagonal concrete columns established a clear geometry that guided the creation of the floorplans. The 188,000- square-foot building’s massive floorplates, however, meant the center of each floor would be devoid of daylight. DBP cut through the concrete floorplate in order to insert new glass block lightwells that bring natural light into the core and add a contemporary architectural feature that complements the bones of the Kahn building. Throughout, Deborah Berke Partners worked to preserve the sense of openness and expansiveness of the horizontal floorplates while defining the space for the various programmatic uses. Many of the new spaces, including a distinctive round ballroom defined by a rich purple velvet curtain, were designed as freestanding objects set within the larger volume. The loft-like guest rooms feature self-contained floating beds and dressers and spare modern furnishings that reflect the building’s industrial heritage. Outside the rooms, the hallways are 14-feet wide so that they can double as galleries for both two- and three-dimensional works of art. Throughout, the neutral palette allows the clarity and materiality of the building’s architecture— exposed brick, factory windows, and large concrete columns—to shine through. This Oklahoma City project advances the 21c mission by engaging the public with contemporary art and invigorating a one-of-a- kind industrial building in order to support the revitalization of an American downtown.