The design of the six-story, 140-room hotel centers on the concept of mutualism—the symbiotic relationships between species that benefits both parties—as it expresses the relationship between: the built environment and nature, nature and folklore, and folklore and people. The guest experience is meant to follow a progression from nature to the built environment, utilizing repetitive elements of varying materiality and focal artwork.

Strict earth tones and exposed concrete floors punctuate the space’s raw nature with pops of bright pink and red florals in note-shaped stands breaking up the grassy green fabrics and faux-alligator textures of the lounge seating and dual-toned ottomans. Floating at varied levels, the lobby’s deconstructed ceiling tiles accentuate the unpredictable nods honoring Gainesville’s legends of sky, swamp, and sound. The lobby bar’s staggered wood planks drop down from the ceiling, reflecting the stalactites and hanging bats one might see at the nearby preserve and wildlife refuge. The bar itself is clad in reclaimed wood tile with a bartop made of recycled quartz—that reflects the stalactites and hanging bats one might see at the nearby preserve and wildlife refuge. Extrapolated soundwaves of alligator growls ripple onto the backs of communal table chairs at the adjacent restaurant, nearing where the real rhythm of the hotel takes off: the guestrooms. There, Ellas McDaniel (better known as Bo Diddley) gets his due with a show-stopping mural to the American musician with Florida roots who influenced the likes of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. A two-toned lounge chair and snare-drum-inspired ottoman (that pulls double duty as a luggage bench) complement dynamic art pieces embracing the vibrancy of Bo’s notable hits—including his namesake “Bo Diddley beat,” which is abstracted in rhythmic patterning throughout the hotel. Most visibly, as a vanity mirror detail in the guest bathrooms.

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