Condé Nast “Covers” Ocean House

CENTERBROOK, Conn. -- The signature yellow and white western façade of the Ocean House ⎯ facing its emerald green lawn and croquet pitch and with the blue Atlantic as backdrop ⎯ graces the cover of this month’s issue of Condé Nast Traveler. In a lavishly illustrated article, Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzmán chronicles the saga of the historic hotel’s resurrection ⎯ from a long decline and demolition in 2005 to its dramatic reopening in the spring of 2010 as a world renowned five-star resort destination.

In related news, Travel + Leisure Magazine has chosen the Ocean House as the best resort hotel in the United States and the fifth best hotel in the world from a list of 52 iconic establishments.

The article includes comments from Centerbrook Partner Jefferson B. Riley, who led the team that designed the new resort hotel, on the challenges of faithfully replicating its architecturally iconic 1908 core while at the same time making it a roomier and thoroughly modern building bristling with amenities for dining, recreation, and relaxing.

Riley explained the importance of minimizing the apparent size of the new structure for the sake of its Watch Hill, Rhode Island neighbors, a feat he called a “disappearing act” that was accomplished by positioning the building into the hillside and by the design of its new wings.

Guzman writes: “[The] gently curved north wing … gives the impression that the property recedes into, rather than looms over the landscape.” She quotes Riley on other design considerations: “There was no sacrifice of comfort, convenience, acoustics, technology, sustainability, daylight, energy conservation, and maintenance concerns … all the things you would otherwise associate with a very modern building.”

Centerbrook received a number of design awards for the Ocean House, which also has been acclaimed as one of the top resort hotels in the world by Fodor’s, Forbes’, and Andrew Harper’s travel guides and Esquire Magazine. Condé Nast Traveler, which has six million print and web readers, had previously picked the Ocean House for its “Hot List” of hotels worldwide.