12.03.2010

Feature Friday: Chatwal Hotel, New York City

An early 1900's Georgian-style building has been transformed into a gorgeous 83-room hotel. Designed by architect, Thierry Despont, The Chatwal Hotel is a true New York City gem. Having a true appreciation for historic preservation, Despont, who oversaw the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, brought the 1905 building the glamour and richness embodied in the Art Deco era. New York architecture once represented all that is Deco. Most of the Art Deco designs in the City have been replaced by modern buildings or torn down but some still remain. The more obvious skyscrapers that still showcase the Art Deco era are the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. While these buildings may have preserved their historic exteriors and interiors, many have not. Despont has re-introduced the glitz and the class of the Art Deco style that once filled the City to the Chatwal Hotel. 


  Reception/Lobby of Chatwal Hotel                                      Lobby of Radio City Music Hall
The Lobby

Despont was inspired by one of the early pioneers of Art Deco design, Donald Denskey. Denskey designed the interiors of Rockefeller Center's Radio City Music Hall. From the lighting to the elegant wood paneling in  Chatwal's lobby, Despont's inspiration is certainly apparent. 


The Lobby Bar

The lobby bar of the Chatwal hotel is an inviting yet sophisticated space. Despont wanted to create a sense of warmth and exclusivity to this little bar at the end of the lobby. He was able to achieve this by adding warm yellow light that instantly softens the space and makes you want to cozy up and stay a while. I imagine this as a place to wear your fur coat (faux, of course) and grab a cocktail before/after a night at the theater OR perhaps a place to conduct some very top secret business.


The Lamb's Club Bar

The Lamb's Club bar overlooks the main lobby below. Despont wanted the lobby below to be open to the spaces above so that people could feel that they were in a place where things were happening. With the fall of the heavy red drapes on the window, the red chairs, and the giant mirror as a backdrop for it all, the bar is elegant and dramatic. I love the little lights under the bar - reminiscent of lights illuminating skyscraper windows.

The Lamb's Club Restaurant

The red and black colors that Despont chose for the booths, chairs and walls just scream "club." Not a dancing club, but a hip joint you might find yourself in with all of your red-lipstick wearing girlfriends and vest-wearing manfriends in the Deco era. The Chatwal's restaurant just may be my favorite room. The touch of chrome on the chairs and lights room pay homage to the elements of Art Deco design. The chrome lights also have the classic "stacking" of the Art Deco era which is most notably recognized in skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building.


Stanford White Studio

This studio has such great, rich style - from the beautiful oak paneled fireplace and beams to that amazing herringbone rug - I am in love. This room is just asking for you pick a book from those fabulous built-in bookshelves and snuggle in for the day.



Guest Room

The guest rooms have a well balanced mix of contemporary luxury and Art Deco style. Obviously, the bed looks amazingly inviting - a comfort level that can only be found in current times. Despont shares in Dwell,  "I worked with Ralph Lauren on his flagship store in London. He told me, 'You have to make something that has never existed-but that everyone recognizes.' In the Chatwal's guest rooms, this notion merges in the "steamer trunk" closets, night tables, and deskes, which recall the luggage that prevailed in the golden age of the ocean liner. "Today's traveler is global nomad," says Despont." Despont also spread recognizable mid-century furniture pieces throughout the hotel to bring a connecting unity to various modernist theories. Despont's appreciation for the past and consideration for modern amenities is certainly a combination that sets him apart.

Image Sources: Dwell

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