San Diego Business Journal

Sculpture, Eatery Cap $25M Westin Renovation

By Lou Hirsh Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Westin Gaslamp Quarter has installed a new 40-foot sculpture, called “Flame Thrower,” outside the 450-room downtown hotel, as operators near completion on a $25 million renovation of the property.

The hotel also recently opened a new Italian restaurant, called Pinzimini. The San Diego location is only the third Westin hotel to introduce the brand’s new signature restaurant, according to a May 21 statement from hotel operators.

The dynamic sculpture was done by local artist Michael Stutz, who has done numerous private and public art projects for clients including W Hotel in San Francisco, North Carolina State University and the San Diego County Regional Library in Fallbrook, according to a May 17 statement. It was dedicated during a May 15 public ceremony.

The sculpture’s asymmetrical design emulates a towering “bouquet” of oversized leaves made from intricately woven stainless steel pieces, with petals ranging in height from 8 to 40 feet. At night, colored LED lights illuminate the exterior walls surrounding the sculpture, including the hotel’s porte cochere.

The hotel, at 910 Broadway Circle, is operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and has remained open during a multi-phase renovation over the past several months. Maryland-based Pebblebrook Hotel Trust acquired the hotel last year for $110 million.