Gabellini Sheppard Associates was commissioned by Tishman Speyer to restore and reinvigorate the Rainbow Room, one of New York City’s most iconic and storied venues. Our mission was to honor the legendary history of this space while infusing it with contemporary functionality. Through extensive archival research and meticulous attention to detail, the studio expertly reimagined the floor plan, skillfully revitalizing the original Art Deco-inspired ambiance. A harmonious blend of refined materials and cutting-edge technology, complemented by bespoke custom furnishings, seamlessly bridges the gap between the past and the present, ensuring the Rainbow Room remains an emblem of timeless elegance.
A fundamental element to those who had experienced the original Rainbow Room was the iconic rotating dance floor in the epicenter of the room. For this memory to endure with future generations, the floor was restructured to include new framing, acoustics, and a rotation motor underneath the new wood floor. Directly above the re-engineered dance floor is the iconic dome ceiling, which was restored and finished in a silver leaf. Additional lights were added within the dome cavity to accentuate further the sparkle of the chandelier and illumination of the dance floor. The chandelier in the center dome, sconces, and glass globe posts were restored to their original glory by replacing damaged crystals. Custom furnishings were introduced along with a refined material palette of hand-rubbed antique bronze, hardwoods, and pewter satin mirrors which together produce a streamlined elegance. Crystal window veils were installed at each window opening, providing a rainbow prism effect throughout the day and a shimmering sparkle in the evening. As the crystals create a rainbow prism effect from the sun’s illumination through the window, a solar shade and layer of Mylar film serve to eliminate the prism effect if need be, giving the room alternate mood options and flexibility. Mirrors in a smoky grey finish were selected to complement and augment the space and its views of the New York City skyline.
This project's exceptional achievements have been recognized with prestigious accolades, including the 2015 Interior Design Best of Year Award, the 2015 Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design, and the 5 Star Award for Best Leisure Interior at the 2016 America's Property Award. Additionally, the reborn Rainbow Room has proudly earned a LEED Silver Certification, exemplifying our commitment to sustainability.
Photography by Paul Warchol.