Happy August! Now that summer is winding down, we’re thinking about back-to-school—and specifically, to college. This month, we’re talking about a new trend we’ve been seeing lately: Families taking special trips with their college-bound kids. And speaking of bonding travel, we’re also highlighting our recent retreat in Puerto Rico—including our top hosting tips. And finally, rounding out this edition is a great Q&A with Qatar Airways, which was recently honored with the distinction of “World’s Best Airline.” We hope the rest of your summer is fun and relaxing!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Lower Manhattan is cool again thanks in part to The Beekman, the stunning new hotel that combines old-world glamour with a chic neighborhood scene. The 19th century building, one of the city’s earliest skyscrapers, was built during the height of the Gilded Age. We spoke with designer Martin Brudnizki, who transformed the interiors of this landmarked building.
The Beekman features 287 guest rooms with original style moldings, marble bathrooms and high ceilings. A soaring nine-story atrium is the centerpiece and overlooks the lively Bar Room. In addition to the bar, Brudnizki designed Temple Court, one of the two popular restaurants inside. Tom Collichio’s Temple Court is modeled after old world NYC, with stained glass windows and brass chandeliers.
Q: The building dates back to 1881. How did you approach designing this historic landmark?
The Beekman’s original building, Temple Court, was such a rare and beautiful building that we just knew we had to approach this project like a portrait painter. With that in mind we diligently restored the nine-story central atrium and all the original iron work, including the decorative balustrades and carved detailing. Having achieved this, the design naturally fell into place and grew organically.
Q: You’ve done an amazing job at making it feel cozy yet grand–with warm colors and little nooks. Was that your vision?
The idea was to create the feeling of a collector’s drawing room, combining different elements of furniture and objects to create the feeling of collection built up over time.
Q: You also designed Tom Colicchio’s restaurant inside – Temple Court. What was your inspiration?
The restaurant has a more industrial edge; it exudes a classic downtown aesthetic, as the iconic red bricks are left exposed and the ductwork open above. Furniture is composed of banquettes in grey leather and mohair velvet upholstery, alongside dark stained timber chairs with burgundy leather upholstery and antique brass nail head details. Providing a contrast to this industrial look, restaurant goers will be drawn to the multicolored stained glass windows in an abstract patchwork of green, red, blue, purple, and yellow squares.
Q: Do you have a favorite view in the hotel?
The view from the top of the nine-story atrium looking down into the bar and reception area is quite something. You get to really appreciate all the original decorative metal detailing and the beautiful colored tilework on each level which snake around like a spiral. Of course, the view from the very top looking out across downtown New York is really special too.
Q: How would you describe its place in the neighborhood?
As with any project we are very aware of the neighborhood in which we find ourselves. The surrounding area and its history becomes entwined in the project’s design. Downtown New York has experienced a resurgence in interest over the years, there’s a real buzz about the place.
Q: You have a very impressive portfolio. Was this your first NYC hotel project?
It was. We have previously done hotels in Miami, such as Soho Beach House, but this was the first NYC one.
Q: What’s next on your pipeline?
Both Studios (London and New York) are incredibly busy at the moment with projects across the world. We are working on the new Annabel’s nightclub in London which is incredibly exciting, as well as a casino in Las Vegas, a restaurant in Dubai and a hotel in Stockholm, to name but a few!
To make The Beekman part of your NYC getaway, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.