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New in New York

(October 2015) posted on Thu Oct 01, 2015

Designers of four noteworthy new hotels in the Big Apple take the go-big or go-home mantra to new heights.

By Oriana Lerner

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From adaptive reuse to crowdfunding, design for the burgeoning Big Apple hotel market never sleeps—or rests on its laurels. And, now more than ever, designers are blurring the line between interior architecture and interior design to create distinctive spaces within the rigid restrictions of often-challenging existing structures, from former offices to local legends. Here’s a sneak peek at the four projects that will be dissected during a don’t-miss panel discussion at BDNY.

1 Hotel Central Park

Forget white linen. These days, it’s a sustainable mandate and impeccable eco-cred that spell “luxury” for many well-heeled travelers. Designers need to move beyond thinking green and start brainstorming ways to channel that authenticity into a more polished vibe. For Phillip Pond, design director at AvroKO, adding a sense of indulgence to the 230-key NYC flagship for 1 Hotels, the buzzy new brand from Barry Sternlicht’s SH Group, meant melding the richness of conventionally opulent materials with today’s obsession with earth-friendliness, social responsibility, artisanship and customization.

1 Hotel Central Park
1 Hotel Central Park. Photo: Eric Laignel.

That started with rethinking how each element works in context. “In some cases, the materials wouldn’t read as ‘luxe’ to the guest, so we had to find ways to layer them,” says Pond. So, the marble in the showers offers a contrast to the rougher textures of wood and metal. A front door made from hundreds of pieces of reclaimed wood becomes the new red-carpet experience for guests as they enter the hotel. Brass insets transform wood paneling on the second level of the hotel into a sculptural statement.

Phillip Pond, AvroKO. Photo: Raymond Patrick

But Pond also wanted to explore one of modern luxury’s latest finishing touches—technology. Instead of crystal chandeliers or elaborate millwork, the focal point in the lobby is the digital art display behind the front desk. Leafy shapes appear to be rotating on the wall, offering both a draw for guests’ eyes and a discreet reminder of the brand’s message.

The Assemblage

The Big Apple’s seeds are sprouting up farther and farther from the tree of traditional upscale hotel design. That’s not just aesthetics, either. Today’s (and tomorrow’s) must-see projects take the road less traveled from the first design charette to opening day.

The Assemblage
The Assemblage. Photo: Courtesy of Meyer Davis Studio.


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