BBGM Recent News

Inspiring Stories: VoyagePhoenix Interview with Kathryn Mickel

Principal Kathryn Mickel was recently interviewed by VoyagePhoenix for the online publication’s Inspiring Stories series, offering a unique perspective into the backstory of one of BBGM & MONOGRAM’s respected leaders.  Providing some candid responses, Mickel grants readers some insight into her unique path to becoming a leader in the Hospitality Design arena.


An excerpt from the interview:

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kathryn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I actually kind of evolved into working in the Design field. I had a very focused career in theatre and dance. After receiving my MFA in the field of dance, I went on to perform and to run a College Dance Department for 5 years. A career in Dance is generally short-lived and not particularly lucrative, so in my early 30’s I started exploring other fields. In my previous career, I had extensive exposure to set design, lighting design and of course choreography which is really sculpting space. Looking at a future in the design field seemed like a natural transition. I was fortunate to be able to attend RISD’s 5 year program and managed to get through the BFA and BIA programs in 3.5 years. It was an amazing experience and in many ways life changing.

VoyagePhoenix is a lifestyle publication, covering the most interesting and inspiring people, stories and trends in the region.  The publication style is meant to be unrefined, offering a raw, artistic and authentic view of the featured people and stories.

Read the full article from VoyagePhoenix

Learn more about Kathryn Mickel

Historic Hotels of America Inducts Twenty Historic Properties, Two BBGM Projects

As originally reported by Lodging Magazine, Historic Hotels of America announced its 2017 class of inductees, including 20 historic hotels from around the nation.  Properties that were nominated and accepted will join the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America program, celebrating the preservation of legendary hotels that have contributed to the rich history of the United States of America.

Of the 20 hotels being recognized, BBGM has provided design services for two of the prestigious properties, including the Sofitel Lafayette Square in Washington, DC and The Graham in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood.

Lodging goes on to include some notable history and fun tidbits about each of the properties:

Sofitel Washington D.C. Lafayette Square (1925) Washington, D.C.
Hotel fun fact: In the early 1800s, the site was one of Washington’s most prestigious hotels and was home to President Andrew Johnson as well as Woodrow Wilson before his inauguration.

The Graham Georgetown (1965) Washington, D.C.
Hotel fun fact: The Graham Georgetown is rumored to have been a regular haunt of Frank Sinatra, who enjoyed a particular suite that boasts an oversized deck.

A quote from the article:

“Each of these legendary historic hotels has contributed to our nation’s history,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Each is unique and has a history worth exploring and experiencing. We are delighted to recognize these wonderful historic hotels. We applaud their community leaders, owners, management, and associates for making these hotels excellent examples of historic preservation and for being great stewards of the stories about world leaders, celebrities, and other luminaries who stayed in these hotels or were involved in the original use of these historic icons.”

Read the full article from Lodging

Learn more about The Graham Georgetown

BBGM Ranked Hotel Sector Giant for 2nd Consecutive Year

BBGM made the list of Top Hotel Architecture Firms for the second consecutive year.  As part of the 2017 Building Design+Construction Giants 300 Report, BD+C culled this year's list down to the Top 60 Hotel Architecture Firms.  BBGM ranked #33 on the list of Hotel Sector Giants. 

To those familiar with BBGM’s work, the ranking comes as no great surprise.  BBGM has completed several notable projects over the past year, including the InterContinental DC Wharf, which just celebrated its grand opening, the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, the Hampton Inn Ballpark Hotel, and the dual-branded NoMa Homewood Suites & Hampton Inn – and that’s just in Washington, DC.

In addition to the firm’s strong portfolio of completed and ongoing work in the DC Metro area, BBGM recently announced that design is underway for the Residence Inn Silver Spring, while their MONOGRAM Hospitality Interiors team has several exciting projects on the boards.

Stay tuned for further rankings from the Giants 300 Report and the latest news on upcoming projects from BBGM and MONOGRAM.

Click here to view the Top 60 Hotel Architecture Firms.

Click here to learn more about BBGM.

BBGM Ranked Top Multifamily Architecture Firm

As the U.S. rental market continues to show strength, Building Design+Construction has released its annual Giants 300 report, including the market-specific reports covering top Architecture & Engineering firms within the multifamily sector.

For 40 years, the editors of Building Design+Construction have ranked the nation's largest AEC firms as part of the Giants 300 report.  BBGM ranked #83 on the BD+C list of Top Multifamily Architecture Firms. 

As a full-service firm with locations in Scottsdale, AZ and Washington, DC, BBGM has been working with developers around the country in the design and development of unique projects and vibrant communities.  Within the DMV region, BBGM has a strong reputation for reliable results and consistency in delivering projects on time and within budget.

BBGM has been working with multiple developers in Washington, DC, including several notable projects over the past year.  Most recently in the Multifamily Residential sector, BBGM provided Architectural design services for 13|U, a boutique-style luxury living development located in the historic U Street Corridor in Washington, DC. 

The firm has also been providing design services on a new residential concept for the 3401 Water Street development being planned for Georgetown.  The InterContinental DC Wharf has also been garnering attention, with the property set to open on October 12th.  BBGM served as the Architect for the prestigious hotel project on the southwest waterfront in DC.

BBGM and MONOGRAM Hospitality Interiors at BBGM are recognized leaders in their design fields and consistently rank among the top design firms worldwide. From luxury interior design to large-scale urban projects, we design projects that respect and reflect the distinct social, cultural and architectural traditions of their communities. Additionally, BBGM maintains a strong commitment to creating design solutions that are individually tailored to suit the specific criteria for each project.

View the full rankings from BD+C.

Learn more about 13|U.

Learn more about the InterContinental DC Wharf.

Bahram Kamali Named President of BBGM

BBGM is proud to announce that Bahram Kamali has been appointed by its board of directors to serve as the firm’s new president. With the announcement of the board’s unanimous decision, BBGM further positions itself as an industry leader for years to come.  As President, Kamali will be responsible for the firm’s overall operations, providing executive leadership and strategic guidance for initiatives in all offices.

Mr. Kamali is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is registered in numerous states and territories.  As a published Architect and McGill University alumnus with teaching experience, Kamali offers a wealth of knowledge to complement his extensive experience in the design and construction industry, solidifying the trust and confidence of clients around the globe.

Read more about Bahram Kamali

Boutique-Style Living in One of DC’s Hottest Neighborhoods

BBGM provided Architectural services for 13 U, JBG Smith’s newest multi-family mixed-use project, located in the U Street Corridor of Washington, DC – one of the hottest nightlife areas in the city.  

BBGM, in conjunction with David M. Schwarz Architects, stepped up to deliver a high-end product that embodies the essence of U Street.  Navigating a challenging process for the approval, design and planning stages, the development team managed to deliver a unique project that maintains the historical integrity of the overall neighborhood.

The high-end residential development offers 129 luxury units in a meticulously detailed brick and cast stone building, paying homage to the area’s rich architectural history with traditional charm.  A series of setbacks and projections were created in the building’s façade to effectively break down the overall scale, creating a seamless addition to the U Street Historic District. 

In order to attract the building’s target market, all members of the project team were challenged to deliver a residential product that would attract the most sophisticated tenants in an already competitive market.  In addition to the task of delivering a successful luxury residential project, the team was also charged with the unique challenge of maintaining operations of retail outfits currently in operation while the building remained under construction.

The project team delivered.  

Residents are drawn to a boutique-style living, featuring elegant finishes embraced by warm lighting.  The intimate lobby is reminiscent of smaller high-end hotels, while the individual residential units are nothing short of spectacular.  With an average unit size over 1,000 square feet and balconies or terraces in 60% of the units, the project team hit the mark for the high-end, sophisticated rental market, while successfully navigating project challenges.

Retail operations were also successfully maintained throughout the duration of the project, with the operating outlet being relocated to a complex throughout construction, and returning to a new turn-key store with upgraded finishes.  Over 15,000 square feet of retail space occupies the ground floor, which is already 100% leased.  

Residential units are leasing at a break-neck pace, well ahead of initial projections for the building.  One of the penthouses has already been leased as well. JBG Smith is managing and leasing the building and has confidence that any decision to sell would beat their own records, and potentially those of the DC market in general.

MONOGRAM Joins NEWH & UMOM to Roll Up the Sleeves

NEWH recently partnered with UMOM to roll up the sleeves for a fun day of service.  MONOGRAM at BBGM designers Jennifer Bals and Krystal Cooper joined the effort with NEWH, UMOM and other volunteers in gathering supplies for UMOM New Day Center in Phoenix.

Volunteers participated in gathering and organizing the donation wish list for the UMOM New Day Center, including clothing, kitchenware and food supplies.  The group of volunteers rallied for a successful day of service, supporting UMOM’s mission to prevent and end homelessness. 

UMOM also offers a great child reading program that involves volunteers reading together with children.  Volunteers were able to support this UMOM initiative through the sorting of books according to reading level. 

To wrap up the day, volunteers were taken on a tour the UMOM facility to learn about the many ways UMOM assists families. Volunteers explored the various amenities offered by the organization, which include a cafeteria, chapel, a playground, and even basketball courts!

Kudos to NEWH, UMOM and all volunteers involved in supporting a wonderful cause!  Looking forward to seeing everyone at the next event!

About UMOM New Day Center

UMOM New Day Center’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness with innovative strategies and housing solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual.  Currently serving 147 families at the main campus, UMOM operates 380 affordable housing units throughout the valley in Phoenix.

MONOGRAM on the Boards: Design Sneak Peek

MONOGRAM Hospitality Interiors at BBGM serves as a go-to resource for clients when it comes to renovations.  Breathing new life into a hotel property can be tricky business, but the MONOGRAM team specializes in navigating these waters to deliver a successful project for clients and memorable experiences for guests.

We’ve pulled together a few sneak-peek snapshots to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the MONOGRAM designs that are currently under way.  Projects currently in design phases include branded properties such as Marriott, Omni, and Kimpton as well as several independent hotels.

(JW Marriott)


(Rita's Kitchen)


(Omni Hotels & Resorts)


Stay tuned for further releases as these exciting projects come closer to completion.

Learn more about MONOGRAM at BBGM