MERCANTILE RESIDENCE INN

Client
HomeBase Montana
Scale
175 Guestrooms
Location
Missoula, Montana
Year Complete
2019

ABOUT

The Mercantile Hotel, a Residence Inn by Marriott, is located in Missoula, MT. The project site has a storied past, having been home to the historic Missoula Mercantile. What started as a small log cabin trading post, became one of the biggest marketplaces in the western United States. The current building includes a historic renovation of the pharmacy building with major addition for an extended-stay hotel with 175 rooms. After having sat vacant for over 7 years, the historic redevelopment in the heart of downtown preserves and utilizes portions of the Mercantile structure, embedding the hotel in its greater context: a pedestrian-friendly, urban neighborhood at the confluence of the Big Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers.

The first floor Mews, an indoor public pathway that connects Higgins to Pattee Streets, allows people to walk through the hotel and access all the commercial spaces. This interconnection energizes the building and the surrounding area as a hub for Missoula downtown, just like the historic Mercantile once did. A destination for the outdoor enthusiast, The Mercantile Hotel embodies an eclectic design taste for the everyday wanderer.

DESIGN

The interior design drew inspiration from the historic trade industry in Missoula during the Lewis and Clark expedition. Materials and finishes take cues from the natural surroundings, capturing views of the surrounding mountains, while embracing and enhancing its more immediate urban food and entertainment context. A focal point for the hotel’s main common area, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE incorporated a large communal table, hand-designed by Garrett Brown Designs. The table evokes a strong sense of Montana’s character with authentic wood and intricately woven pieces of leather at its center.

Paying homage to the original Mercantile was the biggest driver for both the architecture and interior design. JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE repurposed materials from the historic building including an original copper clad canopy. Other materials used were timber posts and beams, a large amount of salvaged wood, accenting each guestroom entry door, old safes, radiators (repurposed as benches), while the feature wall behind the front desk is a gabion wall, made with bricks from the Mercantile building that once stood here. As the original building once did, the new Mercantile Hotel has become a gathering place for visitors and the surrounding community, and reinvigorating a vital space at the core of downtown Missoula.