Addressing Challenges to the Watergate Hotel
Architects BBGM and Ron Arad had to focus on two main challenges for the multi-million dollar renovation to the Watergate Hotel
After being closed for nearly a decade, the Watergate Hotel reopened its doors after completing a 200 million dollar renovation. The hotel is best known for its famous political scandal that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. One of the major renovations for the project was the hotel’s pool, featuring a glass tile from Ceramic Technics and used Laticrete products to install that tile. “The Watergate Hotel was a playground for powerful people for more than 50 years, so it was exciting to be part of such a high-profile renovation,” said Kevin Killian, president of ProFast Commercial Flooring, the NTCA Five-Star Contractor chosen for the project. “Because of our previous success using Laticrete on large pool projects, our company chose to use a range of Laticrete products.”
There were two main challenges in designing the pool area. The first was the high traffic it would receive, not only from patrons wanting to relax, but also as a point of interest for curious travelers wanting to visit the historic site, the space would need to “wow” visitors while withstanding heavy everyday use. The other challenge was the developer of the hotel, Euro Capital Properities, in collaboration with the architects BBGM and Ron Arad Architects, wanted to keep the original look and feel, which included using the existing concrete shell of the pool.
After sitting unused for more than 10 years, a crack developed that spanned the entire width of the pool. ProFast Commercial Flooring used Hydro Ban to create a thin waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane, applying two separate coats. In order to ensure the water tightness after the application, an independent testing agency was hired to monitor the water level along with the humidity in the pool area, accounting for evaporation. Once ProFast Commercial Flooring received the green light from the testing agency, the crew began thin setting the glass tile in the pool and surrounding wall space with Glass Tile Adhesive.
The newly renovated spa area plays up the retro luxury that embodied the swank hotel pre-scandal, while providing a year-round oasis to hotel guests and members of The
Watergate Hotel. “Our many years of experience and craftsmanship, paired with the excellent field support and technical knowledge of the Laticrete team, ensured a newsworthy transition,” said Killian. “The Watergate Hotel pool will remain a standout feature of the hotel for many years to come.” cstd
TILE SUPPLIER: Ceramic Technics
TILER INSTALLER: ProFast Commercial Flooring
ARCHITECT: BBGM and Ron Arad Architects