The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia Designs New Lobby Around a ‘Defining Moment’

Set within a 1908 neoclassical bank building, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia draws inspiration from the city’s  architecture to spotlight it’s rich history. When renovating their lobby in the fall of 2019, designers sought to elevate the experience with a new ‘defining moment’ that would engage guests and set the hotel apart from others in the area.

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The Ritz Carlton Flap board (Split Flap) is a direct call-out to the clackity boards that once adorned Philadelphia’s transit hub, 30th Street Station. Together with the champagne vending machine, the unique experience creates an “instagrammable” moment that gives guests a unique experience that could only be had at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.

At five o’ clock every day, the split flap display begina to clack and change, Echoing through the cavernous lobby, and alternating between relevant quotes from historical Philadelphia icons like Ben Franklin and Rocky. Every fifteen minutes from 5 o’ clock to 6 o’ clock, the display puts on a show, drawing guests to the sign and creating a memorable experience that could not be had at any other hotel.

The split flap sits across from the machine near the elevator bank – showcasing clever messages that encourage guests to take advantage of the champagne offering.

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Design Intent

“Hotels face a lot of competition, and experiences like this to help them stand out… The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia’s new defining moment with a flapboard perfectly captures the brand and the city: it’s fun, innovative, and stepped in history. Most of all, It’s guaranteed to engage anyone that steps into the lobby”