Hotel design is an art that combines architecture, interior design, and hospitality to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and comfortable for guests. In fact, architects and designers are constantly seeking new ways to visualize and present their concepts in the most realistic and compelling way possible. This is when entering the world of 3D rendering and hotel visualization.

Instead of using flat representations such as 2D drawings and blueprints, 3D rendering technology now give them chance to present their vision before the hotel is built. 3D hotel rendering goes beyond simple representation, it is used extensively in the hotel design process. It allows architects to experiment with different designs, colors, textures, and lighting conditions before the construction phase. This digital tool enables them to create realistic, detailed models of hotel interiors and exteriors, providing an accurate visual representation of the proposed design.

Now, brace yourself to witness the revolutionary potential of 3D rendering in hotel design presentations. Let’s embark on the transformative journey of Warren Street Hotel together!


Hotel Rendering for Warren Street Hotel in NYC


In this case study, we will break down the 3D rendering process of this hotel, and see how our visuals assist construction process.




The very first thing to do was to understand the project. This included understanding the vision, studying the design details, and grasping the scope of visualization project.


Warren Street Hotel

Warren Street Hotel is an 11-story building at 86 Warren Street in Tribeca, New York City. The architect Paul Taylor and Stonehill Taylor aim to create a 135-foot-tall structure with 44,000 square feet and 69 guest rooms. Besides, this hotel also features 150-seat bar and restaurant, a drawing room, an orangery, and a private event space. Firmdale Hotels will run this space.

The incredible mirrored glass façade makes the structure invisible. At the same time, it blends seamlessly with the landscape and keep unwanted gazes out and let streams of light flood in naturally. As to the entire main elevation of the building, oversized warehouse-style windows are adorning with bright but cool cyan color. And these windows are framed by a decorative grid of steel beams and columns, which in turn enhance the industrial look. Additionally, the design incorporates a vibrant cyan color on the lower levels and uses yellow paneling around the mechanical bulkhead. Last but not least, the empty eastern party wall is equipped with a yellow rain screen system that matches the bulkhead.


Files for Rendering

To help us start the project, Stephanie from Stonehill Taylor shared us information of design, including:

  • A Revit model;
  • Reference for size of adjacent buildings;
  • Material board;
  • Mood reference image;
  • Site photos;


Scope of Project

The scope of this project was extremely clear. That was, our client hoped to get:

  • One street-eye level view of the hotel.

Stephanie shared a screenshot of the model to indicate what camera angle they’re looking for. Also, she mentioned the importance of the relationship between the hotel and adjacent structures.

Once the above information were received, it was time to start modeling!


3D Modeling of the Hotel


Given that our 3D team had received a 3D model, all we needed to do was to input the model into 3ds Max. In fact, there are tons of 3D modeling software in the market. Our 3D team use 3ds Max because it has extensive modeling tools as well as its robust rendering capabilities. However, if you’re trying to create a 3D model, you should learn their features and prices before making a decision. Here, we’ve an article summarizing all famous 3D modeling software that you may get a hint: Best 8 Free Rendering Software for creating 3D Architectural Visualization.

Let’s circle back to the topic, we fine-tuned the model and set the camera angle per the architects’ request. Here, in order to represent the relationship with surrounding context, our 3D modeler used grey masses. These masses have the same volume, and same height as the actual buildings. In this way, the hotel is easily seen within the context. When the design team confirmed the 3D model, our 3D modeler would further refine the details of surrounding buildings.


Rhino model vs. 3D model


Rendering the Scene


The next stage was to rendering the scene. As a critical stage in the process of creating architectural visualization, rendering correctly will bring in realistic scenes. What our 3D artists did for this hotel:

  1. Scene preparation: make sure the 3D scene is properly set up. This included the hotel structure and its surrounding context. Per our client’s request, we created 3D models for the adjacent buildings.
  2. Material and lighting: before rendering, we ensured the scene had appropriate materials, proper lighting arrangement, and the desired camera angle.
  3. Rendering engine selection: according to the architecture and scene, choose the best rendering engine.
  4. Other setting configuration: configure the rendering settings to control how the scene is rendered. This may include resolution, aspect ratio, anti-aliasing, and other quality settings.
  5. Rendering: the final rendering time depends on the complexity of the scene and the quality setting chosen.
  6. Post-processing: our 3D specialists usually use Photoshop to process the scene. Generally we will adjust brightness, contrast, color balance, adding depth of field, and adding cars and people to enrich the scene.

After all these were complete, we had a 4k image with vibrant scene showing this future hotel’s design.



Plan Change of the Hotel


Two years later, Stephanie came to us expressing their needs to change the plan. To be more specific, it was the color of the façade their client hoped to change. For further reference, Stephanie shared the updated façade plan. In the plan, the steel structure changed from Blackforest Green to Shadow Blue and Silver Willow Green. This is the updated façade color plan:


After reviewing the change, our team decided to offer the 3D rendering services for free. This was because the change part was the color/material only. Besides, Stonehill Taylor was our long-term partner. In fact, this was not the only occasion that we offer free modification services. As a CGI expert, we always evaluate the workload before giving the quote to our client. On the occasion of plan change, there are some occasions we do not charge extra. In contrast, there are still some scenarios where we need to charge extra. For more information, please refer to the Four Typical Scenarios Concerning Extra Charge during the Rendering Process. And speaking of changing color, there may be a confusion here. Hope another article will smooth it out: 3 Types of Changing Color in Architectural Visualization.

After trying a few plans, Stephanie’s team decided to go with the last one: a bright cyan hue covering the lower levels and yellow paneling surrounding the mechanical bulkhead.


Three facade color plans


The Final Delivery


From 2019 to 2021, our 3D team collaborated with Stonehill Taylor and created two renders for this future hotel.


The Site


Till July 2023, when we’re composing this case study, the hotel is still under construction. The hotel is anticipated to open in early 2024. Below are some of the construction photos.




From Warren Street Hotel we can see 3D rendering has revolutionized the field of hotel design. One proof is that when the architect is hesitating on different plans, 3D hotel rendering directly represent various design in realistic visual in a short time. This in turn elevates architects’ work, increases decision-making process, and reduces design revision time and cost. As 3D rendering technology continues to evolve, we can expect hotel rendering services to play an even more vital role in the design and construction process of hotels and other architectural projects. The future of hotel design is here, and it is vividly 3D.

Are you looking for photorealistic hotel renders? Need realistic visuals for marketing or construction? AIMIR delivers realistic 3D rendering services for hotels and other architecture. Just talk to our professional project manager and get a quote in 12 hours!

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