The Design Guys
From custom-designed light fixtures and furniture to smaller details like doorknobs and hardware, every design element contributes to Thompson Nashville‘s unique aesthetic. That’s where Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt come in. Founders and Principals at New York–based firm Parts and Labor Design, the duo carefully consider each facet of hospitality, commerce, and retail when creating concepts for their clients. The award-winning firm has received the 2012 Wave of the Future award by Hospitality Design Magazine, Travel + Leisure’s Best Restaurant Design of 2013 – Honorable Mention for Atera and Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurant of 2013 – The Elm. And most recently, PLD has been nominated as finalist for ‘Most Outstanding Restaurant Design in 2015’ by the James Beard Foundation for The Grey in Savannah, Georgia. The newest site for their talents? Thompson Nashville.
We sat down with the dynamic duo to learn more about their design for Thompson Nashville, and how Music City inspired their concept.
What elements of local Nashville culture are you bringing to the Thompson design?
We think it’s very important to come off as genuine and thoughtful, engaged in the culture down here. We approach the design of the interiors with an eye toward truly establishing the hotel as part of the local landscape. Nashville is an emerging city to be reckoned with in pioneering a level of style, service and creativity that is bar none. We hope that the Thompson becomes the standard of what to expect when it comes to Nashville culture, design, and hospitality.
You live in New York. What most surprises you about Nashville?
It’s a hot bed of development and creativity both imported and local. It’s incredible just how much is happening down in Nashville and on such a massive scale. It’s impressive and exciting, and we’re thrilled to be a part of a renaissance in such a cool town. Not surprising is just how nice everyone is down south. Hospitality is simply in their DNA.
What’s the ideal impact for your design to have on a Thompson guest?
We simply want people to want to come back. We’ve aimed to create a place that feels special and unique, where guests develop a real connection with the hotel that makes them miss it when they return home. We really want it feel effortless and exciting at the same time. The only thing that should be on your mind at checkout is “when are we coming back?”
Which furniture makers or designers have inspired your own aesthetic?
That’s a hard question to pin down as there are so many influences on our work. It is, however, very important to us to collaborate with friends and other designers and fabricators, supporting each other as often as possible. On this project in particular, we’ve brought Tailormade Textiles and Eskayel together for not only wall coverings, but also collaborations on rugs for the guest rooms and suites. We’re working with a friend and NYC-based decorative metal shop on elements for the rooftop bar. Similarly, we’ve commissioned local artists to fabricate a major art installation on the lobby floor, as well as a custom concrete floor in the lobby restaurant. These connections are very real for us and we try to exploit them whenever possible.
What are some of your favorite spots or neighborhoods in Nashville?
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
Rolf & Daughters
Imogene + Willie
When you travel, what do you look for in the places where you stay?
Cleanliness and service is first and foremost. Then quality in materials and in comfort (such as the bedding and furniture). Quite honestly, a good shower and bath products go a long way with us. Lighting is so very important, especially how intuitive and uncomplicated lighting controls are in the room. But with all of that combined, as designers we naturally seek out cool design and innovation in amenities, whether in food and beverage or in the architecture of the space itself.