For Tiffiny Lendrum, architecture is in her blood: Her grandfather was an architect, as is her father Peter Lendrum, who founded one of Phoenix's major architecture firms.
But Lendrum, 43, chose her own path to the world of architecture: through art collection. She majored in art history and worked for museums and galleries for several years. Then she worked for companies in San Diego and Santa Fe that assembled art collections on behalf of clients. One of those firms had a roster of clients in the building industry and that's how she reconnected with her architectural roots.
"I found that I preferred meshing my interests in art collection with architecture and design," Lendrum said. "Being an art consultant on building projects gave me that chance."
With some clients in hand, Lendrum came to Los Angeles in 1997 to set up her own art consulting firm. The move was challenging as she had to learn how to navigate Los Angeles, both geographically and culturally.
"It took me quite some time to figure out the art scene here, but I soon found those pockets of galleries and intense art interest," she said.
As a building art consultant, Lendrum specializes in finding works of art to complement both the style and design of the building and landscaping. This requires knowledge of architecture and design and the contemporary art scene. That means she regularly frequents art fairs, worldwide but especially in L.A.
"We keep a digital database of artists we can turn to, a database that represents a broad range of ideas," Lendrum said. "We also go to artist studios and see what they've been working on recently. I especially like to do this to get a flavor of the local art scene."
In the last few years, Lendrum has assembled art for two local hotels, most notably the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas in West Hollywood, where she incorporated a lot of local photography into the hotel.
Lendrum's hotel work was one reason why she was tapped as the art consultant for the W Hotel project, by far the largest hotel she has worked on to date. She is now choosing art to fit in with the project's theme a combination of Hollywood glamour and the trendsetting style of the new celebrity set.
Principal, senior vice president
HKS Architects, Dallas
Notable Projects: W Victory Dallas Hotel & Residences; Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport; Disney Pop Century Resort, Orlando, Fla.
Favorite International Hotel: Las Ventanas Resort in Cabo San Lucas, a "very beautiful boutique hotel."
Dream Project: "I would love to design a slender vertical icon some 80 to 100 stories tall that would be on the edge of some incredible site or that became a world-renowned icon, like the Eiffel Tower has. Once you get there, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Best Part of Job: "Coming up with the creative ideas of what the vision of a project is and then unveiling that vision for the owner. I also love thinking about how a project touches the five senses of a person."
W Hollywood: "The most unique part of this project is using the idea of images to convey the glamour and glitz of Hollywood."
L.A.: "Because L.A. is such a creative place, you can really push the envelope in your designs to create something that's special and unique."
Rios Clementi Hale Studios
Notable Projects: Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live; Mark Taper Forum; California Endowment Headquarters, downtown.
Favorite Local Hotels: "As an L.A. native, I love the old historic hotels, especially the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel."
Favorite International Hotel: "There's a little privately-run hotel on the island of Stromboli off the north coast of Sicily that is so remote and so completely off the grid. Hotels have been operated on these islands for hundreds of years and they have traditions like collecting rainwater in cisterns. It's a whole different experience."
Best Part of Job: "Working with other people on the early design phase of a project to figure out the 'DNA' of the project and agree on a certain design direction. It's a collaborative effort, but not one with lots of compromises. It's like, 'Oh, he just had a good idea, let's go with that one.'"
W Hollywood: "The public spaces in most other projects really aren't for the general public. But this is different because of the Metro station that comes out right in the middle of the plaza. We frame the hotel and the residences in an arc around the plaza. Also, the red carpet motif, which we're carrying out with red terrazzo, serves as a unifier, connecting the motor court to the pedestrian arrival court. You don't see that in other projects."
PUBLIC ART CONSULTANT:
Principal, Lendrum Fine Art, Los Angeles
Notable Projects: Paradigm Talent Agency, Beverly Hills; Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, West Hollywood; Hotel Oceana, Santa Monica.
Favorite Local Hotel: The Sunset Marquis Hotel, chiefly for its service. "I liked it so much I got married there."
Favorite International Hotel: Maroma Hotel on the Yucatan Peninsula. "We stayed there on our honeymoon. It's remote but it's such an oasis. Everything is built with local materials and labor. It also boasts great service."
Dream Hotel Project: "Working on a luxury hotel in an exotic location, like Dubai or on an island. Oh, and the hotel developer must be passionate about art and art collection."
Best Part of Job: "Searching out artists and finding the perfect match of art for the property."
W Hollywood: "The size and the scope of the team working on this project is absolutely amazing. At the initial meeting, there must have been 70 people all working on various aspects of the design and construction. It was wonderful to be part of something so big."
L.A.: "I love L.A. and its art and culture. You have to learn how to navigate the city, but once you find those pockets of interest, it's an incredible art scene."
President and Chief Executive, Gatehouse Capital, Dallas
Notable Projects: W Hotels in Silicon Valley, San Diego, Dallas; Hyatt Regency Hotel in Mission Bay.
Favorite Local Hotels: W Hotel, Westwood; Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood.
Favorite International Hotels: Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul; Danielli Hotel, Venice; Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua, Guatemala: "Love the way it's made out of an old cathedral."
Best Part of Job: "I really like the brand, design and positioning side of the business. I like changing a neighborhood, redefining a skyscape and a streetscape."
W Hollywood: "This project unifies an iconic intersection with its historic structures and a subway station. But it goes much further than that: It also unifies the social mythology of Hollywood."
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