PULLMAN, Wash. – An architecture class at WSU will present their ideas for a small luxury hotel to upgrade Pullman’s downtown during the Town and Gown Collaborative meeting which will be held from 7:30- 9 a.m. on Oct. 22 in the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Event Center. The Collaborative is a joint committee between the city of Pullman, Pullman Chamber of Commerce and WSU. Its purpose is to strengthen ties between the city and the university and to foster and maintain a strong relationship to create an exceptional college town.

As part of the third-year class, seven student teams designed a five-star luxury boutique hotel in Pullman located on the former Mimosa Café site on Main Street. Out of seven hotel designs produced, the class will pitch three of the most innovative solutions to the city of Pullman during the Collaborative meeting.

WSU Architecture Professor Paul Hirzel said that the 5-star luxury hotel choice is absent in the Palouse and a rarity in Eastern Washington, giving his students a unique challenge.  Features of their projects include 16-luxury rooms, a roof top swimming pool, loft suites with balconies overlooking the river, and a ground level café with sidewalk and riverside patios. The project explores a current trend in college towns of providing the five-star boutique hotel alternative to the more typical franchise hotel options.

The presentation to the city gives the students a valuable real-world opportunity to present their projects to potential stakeholders and to advocate for their designs to non-architects, Hirzel said.  Goals for the project also included exposing his students to the realities of structure and material choice as well as a challenging site condition fronting on both a river (that floods) and a main street.

“When students can achieve beyond their expectations in creating a new vision for downtown Pullman, both the students and the Pullman downtown community will benefit.” he said.

Media contact:

  • Paul Hirzel, professor, School of Design and Construction, phirzel@wsu.edu, 509-335-1373