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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Dream Downtown Hotel in New York City by Handel Architects (designed using Microstation)

May 23rd, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Handel Architects LLP

Dream Downtown Hotel is a 184,000 SF boutique hotel in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The 12-story building includes 316 guestrooms, two restaurants, rooftop and VIP lounges, outdoor pool and pool bar, a gym, event space, and ground floor retail.

16th street façade looking north (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

  • Architects: Handel Architects LLP
  • Project: Dream Downtown Hotel
  • Location: New York City
  • Client: Hampshire Hotels & Resorts+ VikramChatwal Hotels
  • Architect Team: Frank Fusaro, AIA, Partner, Handel Architects
  • Site area: 25,300 SF
  • Gross Floor area: 184,700 SF
  • Landscape: Design/Build, Handel Architects with Blondies Treehouse, Inc
  • Software used: Microstation

Roof lounge sliding exterior wall, indoor-outdoor seating (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

  • Lighting Consultant: FOCUS Lighting Inc
  • Audiovisual Guestrooms: Shen Milsom Wilke
  • Audiovisual Public Space: Advanced Audio Technology
  • Graphics/Signage: Design Build with Crown Sign Systems
  • Cost Estimating: McGowan Builders, Inc.
  • Building Code & Expediting: CCA Construction Consulting Associates
  • Elevators: VDA
  • Structural Engineer:  Robert Silman Associates, PC
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP) Engineer: Thomas Polise Consulting Engineer PC
  • Environmental: AKRF, Allee King Rosen & Fleming, Inc.
  • Civil Engineer: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
  • Construction Manager: McGowan Builders, Inc.
  • Photographers: Bruce Damonte, Phillip Ennis, Adrian Wilson

Public bathroom space (Image Courtesy Adrian Wilson)

Dream sits on a though-block site, fronting both 16th and 17th Streets, and is adjacent to the Maritime Hotel, which sits adjacent to the west. In 1964, the National Maritime Union of America commissioned New Orleans-based architect Albert Ledner to design a new headquarters for the Union, on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets. Two years later, he designed an annex for the headquarters on the site where Dream currently sits. A few years later, Mr. Ledner designed a flanking wing for the annex, which would eventually be converted to the Maritime Hotel. In the 1970s, the Union collapsed and the buildings were sold and used for various purposes in the years that followed. In 2006, Handel Architects was engaged to convert the main annex into the Dream Downtown Hotel.

Pool terrace and Juliet balconies on north interior side of 16th street (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

The otherness of Ledner’s 1966 design for the National Maritime Annex was critical to preserve. Along the 17th Street exposure, the sloped façade was clad in stainless steel tiles, which were placed in a running bond pattern like the original mosaic tiles of Ledner’s Union building. New porthole windows were added, one of the same dimension as the original and one half the size, loosening the rigid grid of the previous design, while creating a new façade of controlled chaos and verve. The tiles reflect the sky, sun, and moon, and when the light hits the façade perfectly, the stainless steel disintegrates and the circular windows appear to float like bubbles. The orthogonal panels fold at the corners, continuing the slope and generating a contrasting effect to the window pattern of the north façade.

Marble Lane restaurant sunken dining room and bar (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

The 16th Street side of the building, previously a blank façade when the building served as an annex, was given new life. The skin is constructed of two perforated stainless steel layers, its top sheet of holes a replication of the 17th Street punched-window design and the inner sheet a regular perforation pattern. The outer rain screen is punctured with porthole-shaped Juliet balconies for the guestrooms and peels up at the ground level to form the hotel canopy and reveal the hotel entrance.

Lobby lounge with custom silver chester sofas and acrylic bottom pool (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

The original through block building offered limited possibilities for natural light. Four floors were removed from the center of the building, which created a new pool terrace and beach along with new windows and balconies for guestrooms. The glass bottom pool allows guests in the lobby glimpses through the water to the outside (and vice versa) connecting the spaces in an ethereal way. Light wells framed in teak between the lobby, pool and lower level levels allow the space to flow. Two hundred hand blown glass globes float through the lobby and congregate over The Marble Lane restaurant filling the space with a magical light cloud. Fixtures and furnishings were custom designed for the public spaces and guestrooms to complement the exterior design and to continue the limitless feeling of space throughout the guest experience.

Frank Fusaro, AIA, Partner at Handel Architects, served as both architect and interior designer for the project.

Hotel entrance at night (Image Courtesy Phillip Ennis)

Guest room with direct access to pool deck (Image Courtesy Phillip Ennis)

Check in desk and hotel lobby, view to garden (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

Acrylic bottom pool and pool terrace looking north (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

17th street stainless steel facade and porthole windows looking east, aerial (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

16th street facade with porthole-shaped Juliet balconies for the guestrooms (Image Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

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Categories: Hotel, Microstation

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