citizenM New York
The concrete designed citizenM hotel is making its debut in the United States with its first skyscraper in the heart of New York City on Times Square. An Amsterdam based hotel chain, citizenM is bringing affordable luxury to all mobile citizens, as it opened its doors on 10 April, 2014. citizenM Times Square offers New York 230 of its signature guest rooms, stacked on top of a vibrant living room plaza, a double height space which combines the NY-vibe with a home away from home feel. This citizenM features a striking artwork in the heart of the living room by Julian Opie as well as a rooftop bar. The dynamic living room and rooftop bar form the social heart of citizenM. Open and inviting to both guests and locals to have a drink, work or just rest and be inspired by the art. The concept of citizenM is to give the mobile citizens of the world ‘more for less’ and cut out all hidden costs, remove all unnecessary items in order to provide guests with a luxury experience at an affordable price. The hotel counts 230 rooms of 150 square feet (approx. 14 m2). The design is founded on the belief that a great bed and a rain shower is all you need during a city or business trip.
citizenM has arrived on West 50th Street, in the middle of the theatre district, just off the corner of Broadway, and only three blocks north of Times Square. The world-famous brightly illuminated area, with its colourful history, houses a 24/7 bustling dynamic city life that citizenM builds on. Catching the light of the bright surrounding buildings and signs, citizenM is sure to catch the eyes of New York City locals and visitors alike. The 22-story, black slim building is clearly visible from the Broadway corner.
The building is formed naturally by stacking the individual guestrooms on top of each other, creating a tower with a series of large bedroom windows. Elevating citizenM’s bedroom tower two floors up from the ground made it possible to extend the street life of the surrounding neighbourhood into the building. Combined with the setback of the tower from the street, it creates a small plaza. The citizenM living room plaza on the ground floor, and the bar on the rooftop, are designed as recognisable glass volumes that are almost carved out of the mass to accentuate the distinctive social function they have within the hotel. The entrance plaza is covered by a canopy that reaches over the sidewalk and emphasises the connection with life on the street.
A small volume is placed on the ground floor perpendicular to the tower and extends from the street inwards. It marks the entrance plaza, with a small terrace on top and an attractive library clearly visible from the street. Further inside, all the back of house functions and connections to the lift core are organised to one side of the building to create the double height, open floor, communal entrance space, or living room plaza. To ensure that the living room plaza actually functions as a public square, a signature floor-to-ceiling (double height) cabinet connects the street life on the entrance plaza with the urban oasis of the courtyard in the back. On top of the building the rooftop bar and terrace emerges as a glass volume positioned under the cantilevered bulkhead.
The transparent facade and continuous floor and ceiling cladding link the interior with the exterior. Plants, lanterns and sofas give it a sense of a green pocket park in the sky: an urban oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
The artwork: As in all citizenM hotels, art plays an important role; approaching the building one sees a large artwork called ‘come one come all’ on the facade, created by artist Jen Lui. A piece of art that refers to the historical context of Times Square.
The use of facade materials is restrained and consists of a black aluminium cladding, stucco and a series of identical bedroom windows. The windows have the width of a bed and show the rooms, individually illuminated depending on the mood of the guest. The double height ground floor, rooftop bar and artwork are more expressive, bright and dynamic, emphasising the importance of citizenM’s communal life and connection with art.
Contributed by Concrete Architectural Associates
Photo © Adrian Gaut
Photo © Adrian Gaut