Walper Hotel

Walper Hotel

The historic Walper Hotel in Canada’s Silicon Valley North is the new hot spot for Kitchener Waterloo’s growing tech community. With newly opened offices of Yahoo, Google and other major tech players, as well as Waterloo’s RIM and the Perimeter Institute, this area located an hour from Toronto is proving to be one of the fastest growing communities in the country.

Photo credit: Michael Muraz
Photo credit: Gillian Jackson of Barré Studio
Photo credit: Langen Studios
Kerun Ip

Downtown Kitchener’s most recognizable landmark, the historic Walper Hotel played a pivotal role in the city’s social and cultural scene since opening in 1893. Designated as a historic landmark under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1983, the list of luminaries who stayed at the hotel include the Queen Mother; many prime ministers, including Pierre Trudeau; Eleanor Roosevelt; many jazz greats including Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington; James Brown; Liberace; Rudolph Nureyev; Bob Hope; and Tony Bennett. Decades later, the heritage site’s dated accommodations were unable to meet the contemporary demands of modern business travellers and locavore millennials looking for a landing spot. The region’s burgeoning tech industry attracts a discerning clientele, and the hotel’s renewal targets these visitors, bringing the best of the old into the future. As a collaboration between three design firms, the Walper was transformed into a modern boutique hotel while celebrating its historic details and pairing them with bold contemporary design.

The lobby and public spaces contrast traditional details such as decorative crown mouldings, wainscoting and trimwork with sleek, contemporary finishes and furniture. The finishes derive from a clean, white palette that highlights the colourful artwork, playful light fixtures and bold furniture in warm woods. The mosaic tile flooring in the lobby is a custom pattern inspired by the map of Kitchener’s own urban grid. The second floor features a rejuvenated bar and lounge area - traditional aspects are once again referenced here, but the solid wood flooring is installed in an angular pattern, defining smaller zones within the expansive lounge. Here, guests can mingle over light snacks during social hours or relax privately, given the variety of cozy seating options.

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design 

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design is a multi-disciplinary, full-service design practice recognized for creating projects that demonstrate design clarity, thoughtful planning, and rigorous attention to detail. Dubbeldam's portfolio includes a diverse range of commercial, hospitality, institutional, mixed-use and residential projects. The firm has been recognized by numerous awards for design excellence and practice and has garnered wide international recognition. 

Jill Greaves Design

Jill Greaves Design Inc. is a boutique interior design firm with commercial, residential and hospitality projects in Canada and the US. Jill creates timeless design tailored to meet the needs of her clients. Jill's work is distinguished by her ability to bring together the setting and purpose of our living spaces with vision and style and has been featured in a number of design publications.

Dialogue 38

Dialogue 38 is an award-winning multidisciplinary interior design firm based in Toronto. Founded by Bennett C. Lo, the firm has been responsible for a wide range of successful residential, hospitality and retail environments. In a practice that encompasses architectural and interior design, along with graphic design and communications, dialogue 38 helps companies define and shape their entire brand space.

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Walper Hotel Walper Hotel Reviewed by FADED4U on February 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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