Construction has begun on the Guest House at the Graceland hotel. Hnedak Bobo Group (HBG), a Memphis-based architecture firm, is leading the design of the 450-room hotel.
The challenge was to create a design that would complement Graceland and ensure the mansion retained its prominence as the focal point of the Graceland experience. Also critical was its ability to fit contextually into the residential neighborhood in which it is located.
“The hotel's exterior recalls the original mansion in form, scale, and materials,” said Mark Weaver, HBG principal and lead designer for the Guest House at Graceland. “From the main entry door to the large gabled roof and columned entry portico, our goal was to make this look as if it was built not long after Graceland itself, and was added on to over time. It will really feel like it has always been there.”
HBG designers researched the mansion for more than three years and are working closely with Priscilla Presley to capture the essence of both Elvis’ personal style and the historic Graceland mansion. Inside the hotel, guests will encounter a dramatic lobby ceiling with pattern and movement inspired by the entertainer's signature capes. A grand stairwell, which mirrors the main staircase at Graceland, will connect two floors in the lobby,. Jungle Room–inspired prints adorn the walls, and a sports bar/lounge will recall the design of Graceland’s richly upholstered billiard room. Other areas of the hotel are designed to reflect the style of the mansion in a modern interpretation.
"When the mansion became Elvis Presley's Graceland home, it took on his personal, distinctive flavor in all aspects of design," said Aron Ramage, lead interior architect and designer on the project, "We asked ourselves, what would that style be today? Then based our interior concepts on those important cues."
The hotel will feature spacious rooms and a range of elegant and contemporary facilities, including two restaurants, meeting and special events space, and a 500-seat theater for live performances. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.