Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Christiana Lafazani


One of the most exciting aspects of traveling is the ability to, for a short time, experience what life is like in a different part of the world. Whether traveling fifty miles away from home or to another continent, cultures, landscapes, and the many nuances of day-to-day life change. The beauty of travel comes from curiosity, exploration, and discovery. It’s that moment when your heart skips a beat and your mind fills with pure delight because you’ve just discovered something new about the world that you never knew before. Another part of the traveling experience is having a place to stay at night. While there are many options, over the past decade, the boutique hotel has grown in popularity. Boutique hotels are known for being small and they distinguish themselves as luxurious and unique in addition to providing premium services and amenities for their guests. This thesis begs the question; can design be used in such a way that an establishment, such as a boutique hotel, can begin to signify more than just a collection decorated rooms so that it contributes to the story being told with respect to place? Through research and personal experience I have found that most small hotels that fit the definition of a boutique hotel do not market themselves as such while large, chain hotels that do not fit the same definition, do. This can be misleading. Many boutique hotels can offer a unique experience for their guests by differentiating room decor so that every room is different or by creating an elegant and intimate lobby or dining experience, however, none have demonstrated a direct connection between the hotel and the context in which it resides. The Power Plant at Lucky Strike, located at 2700 East Cary Street, will serve as the building for this project. The building was originally constructed in 1930 for the purpose of providing power to the neighboring Lucky Strike building which was used as a cigarette factory. The building is in a prime location and situated at the end of the historic and popular Shockoe Bottom strip with Church Hill to the north and the James River just south. With the building’s original shell still intact, my goal is to create a hotel experience that is unique in the sense that it too, will help to continue to tell Richmond’s story.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011