For Ian Schrager and Marriott International luxury is no longer about traditional status symbols, outdated notions of luxury or how much something costs. They simply desire an elevated experience and one that makes them feel good. And, they desire a hotel that is steeped in simplicity, refinement, sophistication, good taste and restraint, but is at the same time, just as striking, glamorous, exciting, surprising, joyful and memorable. It is this fusion that creates the uniqueness and distinction that people have come to expect from Ian Schrager and EDITION.
This new luxury is also the luxury of simplicity. The challenge however lies in the fact that it is difficult to do “simple”, and to do it well. Yet, a quiet, edited, refined approach speaks volumes louder than the “look at me” design that is so prevalent today in a time of a one-upmanship mentality. The New York EDITION evokes a new age of American Glamour—an understated, timeless aesthetic that is incapable of being categorized or defined in textbook design terms.
Inspired by New York City’s turn of the 20th century private clubs, Fifth Avenue’s Gilded Age Mansions and Stanford White’s architectural masterpieces, the hotel’s residential feel will instantly draw guests in, and the hotel will serve as a refuge in the city and from the city. It is akin to staying in the guest room of a private home, rather than a hotel room. Despite the inherited pedigree of this building, it was essential that the interiors were infused with a modern, sophisticated design vernacular.
The New York EDITION makes its debut in the world-famous, iconic “Clocktower” building, otherwise known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons and completed in 1909. At the time, it was the tallest building in New York City until the Woolworth building opened in 1913. It is situated on Madison Square Park in a neighborhood of the city referred to as NoMad.
The 273-room hotel will be activated by day and by night with a restaurant by London’s hottest young chef Jason Atherton, two bars and a billiard room. The lobby and lobby bar’s classic Venetian plaster walls starkly contrast the custom cast concrete oversized windows that look out over Madison Square Park. The 30ft-long hand forged blackened steel fireplace and the sculptural spiral staircase leading up to the second floor are modern interpretations of those found in the grand mansions of Millionaire’s Row. The Jean-Michel Frank-inspired coffee tables and chairs of the 1920’s, Christian Liagre-designed floor lamps, concierge desk and chair, and lounge chairs inspired by modernist Erik Koling Andersen and Alvaro Alto all with fabrics and leathers in soft tones of oatmeal, silver and white, create a light and airy feel that is both warm and inviting.
The restaurant, on the second floor overlooking the park, is where the subtle play of modern and period design continues in new forms. Three intimate dining rooms, a parlor with a billiard table and a library serving cocktails, after dinner drinks and dessert, are separate as in a private home, but come together seamlessly to form a whole.
Drawing from over four centuries of art and design, the rooms feature original herringbone oak floors, original mahogany wainscoting on the walls, and a restored Venetian plaster ceiling. The velvet chairs and banquettes, upholstered in rose, green and blue, are inspired by the vibrant colors of the Dutch masters, notably Vermeer. Each of the three dining areas has a large chandelier by modernist designer Eric Schmitt. They are made from three black iron arms that support a 7ft diameter ivory plaster ring.
The New York EDITION, like every other EDITION, is a custom-made one-off hotel that is authentic and modern, and yet feels very personalized and individualized. It is of its place and of its time and unlike any other EDITION before it or to come.