Marriott Hotels Conceives New ‘Underground’ Innovation Lab

BETHESDA, MD—Marriott Hotels has opened a new 10,000-sq.-ft. Innovation Lab located beneath the company’s headquarters. The Innovation Lab offers rapid prototyping with instant feedback capabilities, bird’s eye views from Internet-enabled cameras and multiple avenues for customer participation.

Located two stories below headquarters, the lab, dubbed “The Underground,” is dedicated to promoting innovation and collaboration. This space showcases the brand’s commitment to the next generation of travelers, who seamlessly blend work and play, with a focus on changing style, technology and service.

“When we decided to transform this expansive unused space hidden beneath headquarters, we blasted through walls and left the old ideas of a ‘design space’ behind. We tapped into the best technology to create an ever-changing lab for innovation, experiencing ideas, exploring concepts, and receiving instant feedback from guests,” Paul Cahill, senior vice president, brand management for Marriott Hotels, said in a statement. “The design concepts conceived and perfected will make the future of travel a reality, sooner.”

Because the parts of the Innovation Lab are mobile, the Marriott design team can take every detail into consideration from the positioning of the bed in the room to the layout of the bathroom. Visitors to the space will become a part of the design and testing process for guestrooms, great room lobbies, meetings spaces, and even food & beverage concepts, innovations that will now be implemented more quickly in Marriott properties around the world.

Upon entry to the Innovation Lab, guests will traverse a gallery filled with projected images on walls awash in rich, saturated colors and lighting effects courtesy of Philip’s ColorBlast Powercore high-performance LED lighting system, where featured presentations set the scene for Marriott’s newest designs.