529 President Street, Brooklyn, NY
121 key Boutique Hotel, 38,000 sf
An experienced hotel developer and repeat client approached us to design a new concept upscale hotel. He wanted a building that was different from the industry typical box.
We developed a design with two curved components – connected only by transparent glass walkways. Limestone panels are used for the curved facades and contrast with the color-tinted glass of the straight walls. The rooms are open plan with all glass shower stalls. An extensive two level rooftop bar and cellar breakfast/bar area with skylights create a separate F&B stream of revenue.
The Owner had an aggressive design agenda and a tight construction budget. To this he added the desire to use off-site pre-fabricated rooms, with their structure, mechanicals, finishes etc. assembled off-site, delivered by truck and installed by crane.
The idea of constructing the bulk of a building in a climate controlled factory before pouring the concrete foundation is undeniably attractive. Installing completed hotel rooms (with pre-loaded furniture ) by crane at the rate of 10-14 per day has the potential to radically reduce construction time and sub-contractor coordination.
In practice, however, it’s the specifics that matter. The size of the project meant that scheduling with the factory had to be precise to actually save time, and because there were no Union requirements, the pre-fab approach wasn’t cheaper. The pre-fab company also hadn’t made curved components before. It became clear that the complexity and cost of a pre-fab approach wasn’t right for the project and we recommended against it. Innovative ideas can add value to a development, but they must be in good alignment with project specifics.