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Coastal Georgia hotel creates classic clapboard ceilings using metal panels

Jekyll Island, off the Georgia coast, holds a unique status as both a resort area and a state park, and land use there is highly restricted. So, when developers sought options for a new resort hotel on the island, they zeroed in on a vacant waterfront lot that had a long history of hospitality – it had been the site of four previous hotels since 1961. The completed project features a welcoming design, emphasizing indoor/outdoor living. But the year-round exposure to saltwater spray put a focus on durable materials, including aluminum panels to create both soffit and batten-style ceilings in the spaces most susceptible to damage.

As of the 2021 master plan created by the Jekyll Island Authority, the state entity tasked with the island’s management, only 20 currently undeveloped acres remain available for “unrestricted development.” This made the 5.8-acre parcel on the island’s main coastal route, Beachview Drive, especially attractive to the group seeking to build a co-branded Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott. Though it had been little more than a concrete pad since 2005, the lot had been home to four other hotels in the previous four decades. 

The design for this latest incarnation in hospitality includes a total of 209 rooms across respective Courtyard and Residence Inn wings, with a large central courtyard that is home to the island’s largest swimming pool, along with a restaurant and bar and plenty of outdoor eating and drinking space sheltered under spacious overhangs. Those overhangs, which face the elements all year, required some attention when it came to materials selection. Architects with Ontario, Canada-based Chamberlain Group opted for flush aluminum panels installed to look like an old-school clapboard ceiling.

To source those panels, the architects, along with installers Thorne Metal Systems from Middleburg, Fla., opted for PAC-CLAD Flush panels from Petersen for both the building’s soffit and overhanging outdoor ceilings. Fabricated from .032- and .040-gauge aluminum, all the panels are finished in Stone White to emphasize the project’s clean, crisp lines.