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28 West 30th Street

Client: Steve Hackel
New York, NY | 2012

Working off of a home grown theory that all hotels fall along three axis: The Memory Castles [places that we go to transport us to places that we believe to be better], The Experience Palaces [meant to transform our lives in ways that are unique or different] or the Home Redux. [The idea that when we travel, what we find is what we left at home.] We were directed by the client to find something that resonated with the comforts of home, yet would extend into the Experience Palace. We took stock of all of these hotels available to us to visit both in New York, and indeed, in India where we travelled to see how our clients were establishing their brands there.
We explored the common trend to live publically in private and privately in public. The site also provided fodder for design and we were influenced by the random stacking of perfume boxes, jewelry displays, off brand watches and the like that give this neighborhood a very distinctive aesthetic not seen elsewhere in Manhattan. Using such architectonic devices as large curtains at the public level as an entrance, again, enforces the idea of putting ideas of domesticity on display in public. Acknowledging a fantastic view to the north of the Empire State Building informed as well as the great urban green of Madison Park to the south became the third arrow in our design quiver. The main design then becomes 2 organizing curved walls. These parallel walls ran throughout the entire building and were to be structural. They connect the views from Madison Park to the Empire state building and also set up the plan so that it forms two types of rooms, A ‘public’ room with full expanse of glass and a more ‘private room where one can experience the view/outdoors/city through a step out small balcony.
The ‘public guest rooms’ in the front have facades that are oriented upwards and downwards. This is derived from the inspiration of the stacked watches that we found in the storefronts but also forming the ability for every one of these rooms a special view of the city, something unique that they can remember and take back home.
Similarly, the idea of the large blank wall facing the west was treated as a display of earrings. All different, all special tinkly objects, but following a loose grid pattern. These little surprises are meant to appear in the rooms at odd idiosyncratic moments. A few trees dot the roof/sun space and the large curved walls are meant to be composed of a vertical treatment, an homage to the verticality of the empire state building and the park to the south. In effect, this building becomes a pass through for these two points and thus anchors the building to the site.
Alas, with so many great and well considered projects by our office [and most other Architects] this one remains located in the land of 2 dimensions: words and images. Again, some day we hope to take up our cause again.

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