Community Environments

Fairmont Olympic Hotel

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle
Fairmont Olympic Reception Desk

Reflecting legacy through a modern lens

Originally opened in 1924, the Fairmont Olympic is one of the oldest, most historic buildings in Seattle. As the city’s premier hotelier and a member of the National Registrar of Historic Places, it has hosted dozens of elites throughout history, from John Lennon to President Teddy Roosevelt.

When the Fairmont Olympic embarked on a restoration project with the goal of fusing modern elegance with classic timelessness, they knew they’d need a team who deeply understood and would work to preserve every inch of the space’s heritage, detail, and legacy, while tastefully elevating their already refined experience.

With two design teams hand-selected from Boston and Barcelona, MG2 was brought on as the project’s Architect of Record, appointed to orchestrate the delicate restoration program and oversee the handling of code enforcement, city processes, design reviews, execution, and final delivery.

Simultaneously navigating ADA regulations and preserving the integrity of vintage finishes, fixtures, flooring, and woodwork, MG2 conducted the unified global collaboration of the three design teams, a general contractor, and numerous city-wide stakeholders.

Throughout the project, MG2 was pivotal in responding to and addressing on-site challenges, providing options and design solutions for several intricate details that came together to elevate the character and integrity of the desired results.

The Olympic Bar Seattle WA

The restoration of bona fide beauty

Our team’s exploration in the main lobby unveiled the original, stunningly ornate travertine flooring. With the potential to be a show-stopping feature of the space, we recommended that it be preserved and restored to its original glory and took additional measures to ensure ADA compliance through a modern refinishing process, reducing slipping hazards.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is a complex labyrinth comprised of numerous floors and mezzanine levels, which at the onset of the project were not easily accessible to future guests and visitors.

Employing creative solutions, MG2 designed all-new ADA lifts and ramps meticulously crafted to complement new and historical features, providing seamless accessibility without adding negative sightlines to the environment.

The Fairmont Olympic Bar

Setting the stage for future memories

The design of the grand staircase was evolved in an effort to breathe new life into the existing terrazzo. It became an opportunity for the Fairmont to have an additional, feature: No longer just a staircase, the ascent has become a presence, an Instagrammable moment, and part of the story.

Finally, our designers—who spent months surrounded by and studying the legacy work throughout the hotel—provided alternative design details to renovate and maintain the existing historic railings throughout the spaces. Our intent was to preserve what already existed while working with craftsmen to add intricate detail and new life to the original banisters.

Each of these facets came together and joined forces with the stunning interior designs brought forth by our two partner firms and the precision brought forth by our construction team. The choreographed alliance resulted in a stunning renovation design—reflective of both historical culture and modern community—that has brought about a new era for the Fairmont Olympic, one that, while still steeped in history, emanates modern luxury.

The Fairmont Olympic was recently named a finalist in NAIOP’s 2021 Night of the Stars for “Historic Renovation of the Year”, as well as a finalist in GRAY Magazine’s 2021 Design Awards for “Interior Design”.