Joining a wave of rejuvenation in Norfolk’s bustling downtown district, the Marriott Norfolk Waterside is using Baskervill’s architecture, interior design, and MEP engineering teams to modernize the 24-story, 405-key property’s public spaces.

An often-cited, weather-forecasting rule of thumb for sailors dating back two millennia serves as a rich springboard for exploring the ever-changing temperament of the seas throughout the hotel: “A red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailors’ warning.” A custom chandelier with billowing orbs stacked and layered like sails of a ship points to smooth waters ahead in the lobby—peppered with vermilion and navy tones that pull guests toward the reception desk, where local trinkets rest on shelving created by an oar-shaped wrap detail. Weathered woods and modern furnishings that bend toward the push and pull of an invisible wind add depth and character to the hotel’s cozy M Club Lounge and adjacent bar. Here, like sailor’s navigating stormy conditions, guests must stay sharp to catch and enjoy all the subtle nautical undercurrents—pops of crisp blues and a dramatic ceiling installation look like simple design details at a glance. Look closer at the wood-fin panels from below, and suddenly, the outline of a ship’s hull comes into view.

It’s only one of the many hidden treasures awaiting visitors and locals alike. A new-build, 60,000-SF convention center is also scoped for a later phase of this project.

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