August 24, 2015 - Green Buildings
1 Hotel Central Park, the first New York City location of Starwood Capital Group's socially conscious brand, 1 Hotels, opened this week at 1414 Sixth Ave. (at 58th St.), one block south of Central Park. The 111,000 s/f, 18-story, 229-room hotel, with its arresting three-story exterior greenwall of English Ivy, has been designed by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects (GKSA).
In keeping with the brand's high-design, low-impact approach, the hotel was created from an existing structure. For both construction and furnishings, natural, reclaimed, and repurposed wood, bricks, marble, stone and glass from local suppliers has been used wherever possible. Guestrooms incorporate hewn beams and timbers from New York barns and factories, while the hotel's faÃ§ade incorporates redwood staves from New York City water tanks.
Gene Kaufman, principal of Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman, said, "This project presented two creative challenges. The first was an existing structure not inherently conducive to commercial use and with a tenant in place on the top floor. The second was the chance to work with hotel developer Barry Sternlicht on a new brand that would have the highest standards and appeal to the hotel market today and in the future. Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman met both challenges, designing a building whose architecture speaks for itself and helping to create a brand that will be the benchmark for signature hotels from here on out as W Hotels were before it."
Nature and the outdoors form the centerpiece of the LEED-certified hotel's design. In addition to the three-story exterior greenwall, guests will find kokedamas (a kind of bonsai covered in green moss) hanging in the lobby and terrariums and indoor window planters in the guest-rooms.
The hotel's fixtures continue the eco-friendly theme, with low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting fixtures, and motion sensors to reduce electricity use. Amenities are made of renewable and reclaimed products where possible and eco-friendly dry cleaning is available. JAMS, the 116-seat restaurant and bar of celebrated chef Jonathan Waxman, focuses on farm-to-table cuisine, as does a lobby farm stand.
Consultants on 1 Hotel Central Park included landscape design firm Harrison Green and the interiors firm AvroKo Hospitality.
In addition to the restaurant and guest accommodations, the hotel offers communal work, meeting and private dining space; a 24-hour fitness center; and a host of other amenities.
The hotel sits directly across from The Windsor Park, another Gwathmey Siegel project that involved renovating and repurposing an existing structure. Completed in 2006, what is now a 16-story collection of ondominiums, including two penthouse apartments and seven three-bedroom duplexes, was originally a 15-story hotel built by architect Rosario Candela in 1926. Until 2004, it was the Windsor Helmsley Hotel.