Reimagining the connection between hotel and city, Gabellini Sheppard Associates transformed the entrance and public spaces of Row NYC, the former Milford Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Commissioned by Highgate Hotels, the 13,000-square-foot project includes a new exterior entrance and marquee, a new lobby with curving wood ceiling canopy, a grand staircase, and a casual bar/lounge.
The redesigned entrance on Eighth Avenue, near Times Square is defined by a proscenium frame of dark jet mist granite, a distinctive stone used on many New York landmarks, in contrast to the transparent glass retail façade that wrapping the building’s first two levels. A new, illuminated marquee above the entrance beckons guests inside. The welcoming glow is further enhanced by the shimmering screen of coiled metal mesh behind the framed windows. Row NYC’s gracious new double-height lobby and reception lounge is conceived as a vibrant interior plaza and urban foyer. The illuminated grand stair, adjacent to the glass elevator volume, connects the reception area to the elevated bar/lounge, providing numerous vantages for people-watching and exploring the hotel’s services and amenities.
Materials and finishes—including honed concrete floors, floating concrete staircase treads lit from below, and columns clad in weathering steel with a natural rust patina—nod to the area’s grittier past and exude a youthful urbanity. A custom-designed ceiling canopy of wood slats hovers over the entire space, curving upward toward the entrance in a gesture of urban embrace.The bar and lounge, District M, provides a casual place for guests to regroup before their forays into the city, or to unwind after a day’s adventure. Raised platform-seating overlooks the activity below and the curated projections of iconic paparazzi photos by Ron Galella that evoke the spark of New York in the 1970s. A digital art installation by famed video artist Yorgo Alexospoulous further captures the urban pulse in the lobby.