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Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina in San Diego

The Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina in San Diego is situated on the bay and has a 446-slip marina. The hotel sought an aesthetic alternative to its previous circular concrete entryway. The entryway was best known for two massive 200-foot concrete and stucco walls that curved alongside the front drive, obscuring the parking garages. San Diego-based Martinez+Curti Architects offered a solution working with San Diego-based artist Paul Hobson to create the current "Tidal Flows" design.

"Our goal was to present a metaphor of what awaited the guests when they stepped into the lobby and saw the wonderful bay views," says Tony Curti, partner at Martinez+Curti.

The artwork is composed of a series of color-rich reflective panels from Oakland, Calif.-based Móz Designs that mimic the ebb and flow of the tides in San Diego Bay. Blendz, an exclusive Móz color treatment, was applied to the metal surfaces. Blendz #410 features an interplay of silver/blue/green color tones, which was enhanced by a hand-etched Móz Bamboo pattern.

"The panels have an almost halographic effect, reminiscent of the reflections of sunlight on the surface of the water," says Hobson. The panels were fabricated by Móz and nearly 50 individual segments were created, ranging from 3 to 24 feet in length. The precisionengineered segments were then assembled on-site into 20 waves that tapered from 30 inches wide to graceful end points.

The panels were constructed from 1/8-inch-thick recycled aluminum plate and each includes a 2-inch welded edge on the reverse side. This allowed the panels to stand off from the walls while concealing the LEDs.

"The wave-like shapes and reflectivity create the illusion of motion and kinetic energy," explains Hobson. "It's visually exciting during the day and illuminated at night with a series of LEDs mounted behind each panel. The LEDs are programmed so that the light creates a halo effect around each wave, furthering the illusion of tides in motion."

Applying the panels to the walls was a multi-step process coordinated by installer AY Designs in Iron, San Diego. Vinyl prototypes were initially set in place to show composition and to indicate where the brackets would be installed.

The toughest challenge was installing the artwork while hundreds of guests were entering and leaving the hotel every day.

"We were definitely traffic-stoppers," says Hobson, "and not always in a good way."

However, once the installation was complete things changed. "Now people intentionally stop by to study the installation. Public reaction has been very favorable and the Marriott design team is very pleased with the result," explains Hobson.

Móz Designs,