When the Gansevoort Hotel Group conceived its newest property on Park Avenue South in Manhattan, it defied the New York City trend to ever shrinking hotel guest rooms and bathrooms.
Instead of a miserly 250 sq. ft., Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC offers mini-suites and adjoining spa bathrooms that are about twice the size of a typical Big Apple room.
“The concept is designed around needs of guests and their comfort,” explained Stephen Jacobs, partner, Stephen B. Jacobs Group, Architects and Planners. “Our typical room is a mini-suite with a sleeping area, work area, and a sitting area. And a key part of that experience is the spa bathroom.”
He and his wife, interior designer Andi Pepper, masterminded the whole design experience at the NOMAD hotel, from the design of the building itself to the selection of all the furnishings.
Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC is the group’s second in New York City, and while the market for the Gansevoort brand is very broad, each property caters to a slightly different clientele. The first in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District was designed with chic and edgy mini-suites that are smaller than Park Avenue. Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC allows an opportunity to construct a new building on Park Avenue at 29th Street in the NOMAD neighborhood.
“Nevertheless, this is one of the largest standard rooms in the city,” Jacobs noted. “Our room is 460 sq. ft., more than twice the size of a typical room. And the bath is 9’x9’ versus the typical 5’x 8’.”
Because the hotel itself is lively, hip and very active, the mini-suite and spa bath become the guest’s sanctuary.
The spa baths communicate luxury and relaxation through their size, design and choice of materials and fixtures. Part of execution of the spa concept is the finishes, particularly the glass walls that enhance the sense of serenity.
“In order to save on plumbing, many designers might make the mistake of putting a wall between the tub and shower, but that completely kills the look of the bath,” Jacobs said. “We kept it all separate, so you experience the whole space with no solid walls.”
The simplicity of the restrained design, which doesn’t attempt at applied decoration, adds to the tranquility of the space.
Then there is the luxurious indulgence of the size of the room and the bathing options. These are full, five-fixture baths with two trough sinks, separate shower, tub and one-piece toilet. Tubs are extra deep and the showers are 42 inches square surrounded by glass. “The bathrooms at Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC communicate luxury, indulgence and relaxation. The distinctive all-glass walls, deep soaking tubs and trough sinks create a unique, spa-like atmosphere and experience for guests. The stylish yet functional concept perfectly complements the hotel,” said Michael Achenbaum, President of Gansevoort Hotel Group.
The team selected Jado faucets and tub fillers, Porcher vessel sinks, and American Standard Cadet one-piece toilets for their simple, elegant lines.
Trough sinks weren’t a trendy knee-jerk selection. “With some designers, everything they do looks the same, or has a strong stylistic vision of the world. We approach projects from a different perspective. Each has a life of its own. We consider the right design for the context of every project,” Jacobs elaborated.
In Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, the trough sinks emphasize the size and shape of the bathroom, and work very well with the proportions of the vanity. “Everything is interrelated, it’s important to consider the whole, how it all works together,” Jacobs said. The Porcher sinks were also chosen for the comfort of guests.
The design team thought through every detail, like space for cosmetics near the sink. “A lot of boutique or high design hotels are all about looks, and they forget that people have to use, and live in, these spaces,” Jacobs added.
Gansevoort Hotel Group always starts with practical considerations for the needs of the guests, and the look comes out of that. This way function and comfort never end up taking second place.
Practical considerations were not overlooked when it came to selecting fixtures. “I have tried so-called design brands in the past and had nightmarish performance problems,” Jacobs admitted. “American Standard is realistically priced and that’s important too.”
What really won him over, though, was the ability to customize faucet handles and spouts. “Years ago if I had told American Standard I wanted to customize a fixture, it would not have been well received. But there has been a cultural and philosophical change, and they are extremely responsive. At same time I can rely on the quality of the fixture and know it will work. The catalog is just a starting point,” the architect said.
Just as guest comfort is the starting point for design.