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MPdL Studio

MPdL Studio

Boston, MA | New York, NY | Ann Arbor, MI

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Conrad New York

The Conrad Hotel in the Battery Park City neighborhood of New York City, uses art as its focus and inspiration for the complete redesign of a 1980’s 15-story building. The main strategy was to connect the building to the larger network of public spaces in Battery Park and take advantage of the art in the neighborhood (from the Hudson River ferry stop to Brian Tolle’s Irish Hunger Memorial, through the hotel to the large works at 200 West Street by Franz Ackerman and Julie Mehretu), constructing a public art corridor with Conrad New York as its core. The hotel’s atrium is transformed into a gallery, highlighting the existing monumental Sol LeWitt drawing featured in the 12-story space, and works by other artists, such as Pat Steir, in its wings. This project actively engages public and private elements in unison through art, providing New Yorkers and visitors alike a unique experience. 

The Conrad New York project demonstrates the belief in a calibrated engagement between art and architecture, blending the two at unique moments to enhance both. As a result, at the atrium of the hotel, we utilize the LeWitt drawing as a point of departure for a series of “veils” that enhance the painting’s reading, and control views towards it while never obscuring it. To enhance and control the acoustical quality of the space, all balconies were re-shaped from their original configuration. Digital fabrication enabled the precise correspondence between the design and fabrication models for the veils, upper frame, and lower rings. Lastly, we continue our commitment to sustainability and universal design through a collection of elements that resulted in a LEED Gold building that is fully ADA accessible.

Located in the Conrad New York, Atrio Wine Bar and Restaurant was designed with the idea of a contemporary New York trattoria. Warm walnut is used throughout the space, combined with rich stone and glass. The ceiling is shaped to feel like a light canopy overhead. A series of precisely located folds and pinches in the ceiling’s surface navigates and responds to the existing technical systems of the space, forming an undulating, dynamic pattern. The experience was designed to offer both lounge seating and café style seating, so patrons can have a variety of experiences depending on their mood. The glass along the windows reflects the extraordinary views of Manhattan, and the texture of the glass bead curtains gives the space just the right scale. 

Conrad New York's events center is designed to act as an extension of the lobby. It aims for the space to easily accommodate small gatherings and large meetings in over 30,000 sq. ft. of adaptable, integrated, and highly configurable space, including a 6,200 sq. ft. Gallery Ballroom. The main feature of the events center's conference center is a hanging stair that recalls the geometry and effect of the hanging veils, but is clad in wood as a means of making it more intimate for the events that take place in the banquet areas.

Accents, the hotel's gift shop, opens directly to the Atrium, and is to be understood as a finely crafted and composed space, akin to a library. In contrast to the magnificent scale of the Atrium, or the complex geometries of Atrio Wine Bar and Restaurant, the Gift Shop is a poised space of intimate scale, using the modulation of the deeply recessed display cases and shelving as a device to control the space and produce a rich environment. 

 
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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Design Architect
Additional Credits: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg / Jill Greaves Design, L'Observatoire International, Thornton Thomasetti, Werner Sobek, WSP Flack + Kurtz, Viridian Energy & Environmental, Michael P. Berry Consulting

Photography: John Horner