Posts tagged with "Gene Kaufman":

Placeholder Alt Text

Twin 50-Story Towers Will Join Jersey City Skyline

After a nearly five-year delay, a $350 million mixed-use development in Jersey City is slated to break ground in the next few months. The Real Deal reports that the Jersey City Municipal Council and Planning Board approved plans back in December. Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects will design the two 50-story towers at 70 and 90 Columbus Street. The 1.2 million-square-foot development, a joint venture by Ironstate Development and Panepinto Properties, will consist of a 150-room hotel and approximately 1,000 rental apartments in addition to retail space.
Placeholder Alt Text

High Holiday

We heard rumblings, but now it’s official—a 400-room, 50-story high Holiday Inn will be joining the ranks of downtown hotels at 99 Washington Street near the World Trade Center. It will be the world’s tallest Holiday Inn and the go-to architect for New York hotels, Gene Kaufman of Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects, will be doing the honors. Kaufman’s other high-profile hotel projects, the Chelsea Hotel renovation and the new Hyatt near Union Square, seem to be moving full steam ahead, despite legal wrangling at the Chelsea. The Holiday Inn will likely open to guests by the end of this year.
Placeholder Alt Text

Chelsea Hotel Charm Offensive

The Chelsea Hotel management and architect Gene Kaufman launched a charm offensive last night in the hotel's "Grand Ballroom." Patti Smith came to sing and read poetry to a small media and arts crowd. Tonight, Smith will return to perform for residents. The artist is a longtime hotel alum who launched her career from Room 203. Kaufman and his client, hotel owner Joseph Chetrit, have been taking a beating in the press and in the courts for their renovations of 127 year-old hotel. Smith reached out to Kaufman, helping him to make good on a promise that the hotel would continue to foster the arts. The singer allowed that her gesture doesn’t come without risks to her outside-of-society cred. During the performance Smith said she's received plenty of flack.  Yesterday, a New York Times headline highlighted the residents' "skepticism"  over management's motives, using Smith to generate good will. Though Smith was performing gratis, she said she came with an agenda: she wants young poets and artists to continue thrive at the hotel, particularly through an artist-in-residence program. She further detailed her hopes for the hotel on her website. The event was held in two large rooms behind the check-in counter, recently re-dubbed the "Chelsea Ballroom."  Connected through a large arch, the two rooms were sealed off from each other for years. The more ornate of the two was a management office, and the other room was a studio belonging to Interview cover artist Richard Bernstein. When Bernstein died in 2002, the room was sealed off with yellow police tape to secure the valuable contents until properly inventoried. It’s just such lore that the Kaufman and Co. must contend with, a series of stories that bound beyond the physical space.  And it’s lore that has captured international attention. Before the performance Kaufman acknowledged bad press from as far away as Spain. While introducing Smith, the architect's countenance was weighted. He only loosened up toward the last couple of songs. For her part, Smith said that as an artist she likes see things move forward, but remains nostalgic for the old.  She recalled old time tenants who longed for the early sixties, and before them tenants who reminisced about the early fifties, and then there were the tenants who mourned the basement flood that destroyed Oscar Wilde's steamer trunks. But Smith said she also wants to help to bring the hotel into the 21st century. She then launched into a song about dreams, questioning the reality of what was, and finished with lyrics professing "people have the power." UPDATE 1/13: Smith canceled last night's performance for the tenants. According to the New York Daily News nearly half of the 80 tenants invited had declined the invitation. Smith said in a statement: "In respect for the wishes of the Chelsea Hotel Tenants Association I have canceled tonight's performance. My motivation was solely to serve the tenants. If this serves them better, than I am satisfied."    
Placeholder Alt Text

Quick Clicks> Extreme Treehouse, Restoration Home, Bad Air for Bikes, and the Hotel Chelsea

Youth Space. Pharell Williams speaks to Wallpaper* about his plans for a new youth center in partnership with architect Chad Oppenheim. Both Keihl's and Williams' charity From One Hand to Another will support the creative vision in raising funds for the Virginia Beach project. The design draws conceptually from the construction of a treehouse with plans to be a uniquely green project and a safe place for children to learn and grow. Telly Transformations. Caroline Quentin presents a new BBC Two series entitled Restoration Home, a program that follows renovation of old buildings as they transform into sleek homes. Look forward to documentation of behind the scenes "nostalgia, architecture, and murder" as Olly Grant of the Telegraph details. Bad Air. If riding with speeding traffic weren't enough to worry about when cycling through the city, Scientific American reports on just how dirty street air really is from car and truck exhaust. In short, city air is a toxic cocktail of pollution that can pose a heart risk to urban cyclists. Time to clean up our streets? Chelsea Touch-ups. The new owner of Hotel Chelsea, Joseph Chetrit, hired architect Gene Kaufman to work on plans for expansion and renovation of the historic New York property according to the Wall Street Journal. Residents have little to worry about, though, as the hotel is a registered landmark which brings extra oversight. That being said, as the project begins, expect significant upgrades to the lobby and infrastructural repairs along with a potential additional restaurant.
Placeholder Alt Text

Hyatt Takes It Higher in Union Square

Gene Kaufman is putting the finishing touches on designs for the new Hyatt Hotel intended for the southwest corner of 13th Street and Fourth Avenue. Though its interior will be gutted, a century old limestone face will remain to sheath a two-story atrium/lobby. Just behind the facade the building sets back to form a large terrace holding a hydroponic bamboo garden, then continues to climb another eleven stories. Kaufman said the historical context of the old façade is not of particular importance, but Andrew Berman, executive director of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, disagreed. “We are glad that they re-used the facade of the two-story building,” he said. “But the 11-story addition seems woefully out of place.” “Nostalgia is something that’s transient. It’s in people's nature to resist change,” said Kaufman. Though his daughter once took dance classes in the old building, he insists that he didn’t keep the facade for sentimental reasons. He said there were practical as well as aesthetic attributes to consider. The old structure forms a retaining wall that allowed the construction to continue unimpeded by regulations for buildings next to a subway line (in this case, the number six running along Fourth Avenue). Also, the street level structure allowed for Kaufman to conjure a 27-foot high lobby interior, which he foresees serving an amalgam of hotel, bar, and restaurant functions. The tower doesn’t veer stylistically far from its base, a lá Norman Foster atop Joseph Urban. Nor does it rest within a historic district,  so it did not have to undergo landmark scrutiny. The aluminum panel clad tower pierced with square widows is capped by a two-story glass curtain wall.  An open circular ring supported by six thin posts finishes the corner suggesting an iconic flourish. The architect is also at work on a boutique hotel on the Bowery and another on 13th Street at 6th Avenue. He said that there is no set house style for the firm, instead they respond to the neighborhood. Kaufman remains nonplussed by historic naysayers. “For us the primary relationship is to the avenue.”