The desert holds many mysteries, all of which are adventures waiting to be explored. It’s a place of escape, of reflection, of relaxation. And once those experiences are discovered, they become something that we’ll return to time and time again to remind ourselves that finding a balance between the everyday and everything keeps us curious.
Senna House is one of the desert’s newest mysteries. Part of Hilton Worldwide’s Curio Collection, this boutique hospitality brand is a project of Opwest Partners in Scottsdale, Arizona. We partnered with these teams to build this concept from the ground up. The challenge was to craft a guest experience unlike any other, blending the raw elements of the surrounding desert landscapes with elevated and refined design to establish Senna House as an iconic and timeless brand.
To develop the concept for the brand, we kicked off a collaborative, creative process with Opwest Partners to discover how we could answer the hotel’s challenge. Pulling inspiration from Scottsdale’s location as a metropolitan oasis in the middle of the vast Sonoran Desert, the strategic north star we looked to for this project was balance. We built the brand idea on finding the perfect balance of the organic beauty of the desert landscape and the sophistication of a growing, modern city—culminating in an aesthetic that we called “desert modern.”
We set out to explore the history and complexity of the Sonoran Desert to fully immerse ourselves in everything it has to offer—finding inspiration at every horizon. Our core idea for this concept came from our discoveries in the natural landscapes: the flora and fauna of Scottsdale. Resilience is critical to surviving in the desert, and the elements that thrive here paint a picture of beauty and balance. Looking across the desert, we found the senna covesii to be the perfect representation of balance between this sense of resilience and the alluring, delicate flowers it produces to bring color and warmth. Senna House was built on warmth, the mysteries of the desert, and the invitation to join others on this new adventure.
And our visual language and identity system reflect this balance. Partnering with the architects and interior design team to bring this iconic and timeless brand to life, we created a monogram that matches the simplicity of design with the modernity of the hotel’s interiors. The monogram’s accompanying wordmark evokes a feeling of distinction—immortalizing this historic and history-making brand in Scottsdale’s hospitality scene.
Pairing our primary brand elements with a color palette inspired by the gradient hues of the desert sunset, we visualized the idea of “desert modern.” And to further root our brand in the surrounding landscapes, we built a system of simple and elegant line illustrations used throughout the hotel’s experience.
Following our work on the project, Senna House opened its doors in December 2021, garnering buzz and favorable reviews from guests. Beyond creating an ownable and unique identity for Senna House, we were able to set a precedent for future hospitality projects from Opwest Partners—showcasing the importance of brand and storytelling in the development of a modern hospitality experience.