Wish We Were Here: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville

We have Kentucky on the brain, but in this instance, it's not because of the horses

Wish We Were Here: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville
Photos courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Louisville

All eyes will be on Louisville this weekend when the 141st annual Kentucky Derby runs on Saturday. While the horse racing scene is certainly prevalent throughout the city's history, it's another vibrant cultural offering that's got us thinking about Louisville for this week's installation of Monday Design Daydream.

Wish We Were Here: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville

At 21c Museum Hotel—a chain of boutique accommodations that began in Louisville but has since expanded to Cincinnati, Ohio, Bentonville, Arkansas, and, as of last month, Durham, North Carolina—art is the focus at every turn: in the 90 guest rooms, of course, but also at the in-house art gallery. The space, which sits in the footprint of a row of converted 19th-century brick warehouses, is filled with contemporary works that couldn't be further from the usual landscapes and botanical drawings of most hotels. Designed by New York-based architect Deborah Berke, the interiors are understated and classic (a tufted sofa here, midcentury-style floor lamps there), with an occasional burst of color thanks to painted walls, shelves, or window trimmings.

Wish We Were Here: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville

One room serves as an art installation in and of itself. Designed by New York artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Asleep in the Cyclone is a sculptural space that features re-purposed barn wood, custom textiles, and a domed ceiling that mirrors the geodesic shapes of American architect Buckminster Fuller. We can only imagine what kinds of dreams a night spent drinking mint juleps would yield in this room.

I'm the former Deputy Editor at Lonny.
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