THE STANDARD / NYC

THE STANDARD / HIGHLINE / NYC 

THE STANDARD / HIGHLINE / NYC 

THE COOL SHELTER

NYC'S COOLEST SHELTER FOR THE VERY FEW

[ THE STANDARD ]

848 Washington Street

T +1 212 645 4646

http://standardhotels.com/high-line

http://standardculture.com/


This is the view from room 1013 of the Standard, André Balazs’s High Line-straddling hotel. 848 Washington St., nr. W. 12th St.; 212-645-4646, designed by Todd Schliemann of Polshek Partnership Architects with décor by Roman and Williams. It’s spectacular, as you can see, and thanks to the floor-to- ceiling glass, all 337 rooms have perspective-delighting views over the city. This might seem an odd time to open any hotel, much less the 39 scheduled for this year, but there are benefits to the room boom. 



 RUMORS, LOOSE TALK

STANDARD MASTERMIND ANDRÉ BALAZS + MADONNA AT THE ROOF 

STANDARD MASTERMIND ANDRÉ BALAZS + MADONNA AT THE ROOF 


A lounge. Madonna. A hot tub. Lohan. Floor to ceiling windows—in the bathroom—overlooking the city from 18 floors up. And you’re…intrigued.
 
The Boom Boom Room, a throwback to ’70s carefree decadence and the latest fun pit at Andre Balazs’s game-changing Standard Hotel, open for private [frenchy] parties and the selected few.
 
The space is split into two modern-retro rooms, but you’re going to want to start by setting up camp in the main area, filled with wavy cream-colored leather banquettes, golden fireplaces and starburst chandeliers. The other, more intimate room is decked in black tiles and includes a mischievous, triangular hot tub—right smack in the middle of the room.
 
The whole place has the feel of a party lounge Donald Trump would have built on his yacht in 1979, only 18 floors above the Meatpacking District and filled with the likes of Bar Refaeli and Karolina Kurkova.

 THE HARDEST DOOR IN TOWN

 

Call it the Boom Boom Room, call it the Top of the Standard, or any other thing you want, but we call it the hardest door in New York City right now. The Boom never did turn into a members only club as was rumored, but it operates like one for all intents and purposes. The penthouse palace uses iPad’s to maintain its guest list and its refusal to relax its stringent door policies during a benefit to raise money for Japan cements its place on top of the list. Please note that being #1 doesn’t mean the Boom is the most fun, andrumors of Le Bain customers sneaking across the hall have made their way to the Door Report committee. 
Who you need to know: Andre Balazs, Kamil Parchomienko
Civilian Chance of Entry: 1%

 EXHIBITIONIST TOUCH

 

Some Buildings are coy about showing what holds them up. The Standard Hotel flaunts its musculature—its naked concrete piers ripple like a bodybuilder’s legs, heaving the glass-walled structure 60 feet in the air. Those shapely supports hit the ground in a sensitive part of manhattan, a knot of cobblestones and weathered brick that still release an occasional smell of butchered meat. It’s not a tough area anymore, but it is pleasingly rough to the touch. So is the Standard’s concrete, textured with the grain of wooden planks. That’s how a big new building can fit neatly in a historic neighborhood—not by donning antique-y cornices, but by interpreting the spirit of a place.

Designed by Todd Schliemann of Polshek Partnership Architects for André Balazs, the Standard doesn’t apologize for its stature. At 265 feet tall, it’s hardly a monster, but it does present a raised fist to the low-slungmeatpacking district. get close-up, though, and the building nearly disappears. At street level, a bar and a future beer garden occupy a one-story shed costumed like an old warehouse in recycled brick. Like the rest of the neighborhood, this structure offers a carefully stylized illusion of old-time grittiness. But the flourish of make-believe is a feint, a distraction from the building in the sky.

Up there, the Colossus of the Hudson bestrides the High Line, squeezing the old iron railway between its concrete knees. Schliemann and Balazs deserve gratitude for avoiding the obvious horrors—a thick modern slab or aneedle tower, say— and for putting up such confident and considered architecture. The long form bends at the center, like a guest book propped open to reveal the names inside. (The best vantage point from which to read this volume will be the High Line, a voyeur’s paradise.) once inside, the reason for the angles becomes clear: to organize the panorama. Some toilets face the towers of midtown, some showers offer Hudson River views, and the outer walls of sheerest glass turn monkish cells into aeries. Below, the streets and the High Line answer the hotel’s zig with their zags.

Not many guests, I imagine, will find their way to the fire stair that drops out of the building’s underbelly. But if Cézanne were a contemporary new Yorker, he might set up an easel here. The hotel’s taut lines and hard surfaces frame the cubist cityscape: warehouse roofs and criss-crossing streets in the middle distance, the vertical brushstroke of the Empire State Building beyond. What a fine way to arrive in manhattan, descending on foot through the open air. 

 

MY NIGHT IN THE STANDARD

 

I’ve lived in new York all my life, but I love checking into a hotel as if I haven’t. mostly I love the new views, but also the way the experience tricks me into noticing things I usually ignore (like rivers!). When the Standard opened very quietly in late december, I had to try it; the fact that it would still be mostly empty only increased my excitement. I’d imagined some sort shower, which stood in the middle of the all- glass room, felt more day-spa discreet than meatpacking-district flasher. (Thankfully, the toilet had a room of its own.) As with every André Balazs-owned property, the staff is uniformly young, beautiful, and hip. But—big surprise—they’re also unbelievablycompetent. The concierge hooked me up with a last-minute reservation at Pastis and called the restaurant to make sure that I’d arrived safely. (There is no food service at the hotel yet, but if you stay in for the night, a staffer will fetch you some takeout.) If I had to nitpick, I’d say the lights above the bed buzzed a little, there was not full-length mirror, and the water from the shower seeped dangerously close to the carpet. But noticing such things would require taking your mind off the views, and what would be the point of that?

Some buildings are coy about showing 

what holds them up. The Standard Hotel 

flaunts its musculature—its naked concrete 

piers ripple like a bodybuilder’s legs, 

heaving the glass-walled structure 60 feet 

in the air. Those shapely supports hit the 

ground in a sensitive part of manhattan, 

a knot of cobblestones and weathered 

brick that still release an occasional smell 

of butchered meat. It’s not a tough area 

anymore, but it is pleasingly rough to 

the touch. So is the Standard’s concrete, 

textured with the grain of wooden planks. 

That’s how a big new building can fit neatly 

in a historic neighborhood—not by donning 

antique-y cornices, but by interpreting the 

spirit of a place. 

Designed by Todd Schliemann of Polshek 

Partnership Architects for André Balazs, the 

Standard doesn’t apologize for its stature. 

At 265 feet tall, it’s hardly a monster, but it 

does present a raised fist to the low-slung 

meatpacking district. get close-up, though, 

and the building nearly disappears. At 

street level, a bar and a future beer garden 

occupy a one-story shed costumed like an 

old warehouse in recycled brick. Like the 

rest of the neighborhood, this structure 

offers a carefully stylized illusion of 

old-time grittiness. But the flourish of 

make-believe is a feint, a distraction 

from the building in the sky. 

up there, the Colossus of the 

Hudson bestrides the High Line, 

squeezing the old iron railway 

between its concrete knees. 

Schliemann and Balazs 

deserve gratitude for 

avoiding the obvious 

horrors—a thick 

modern slab or a 

needle tower, say— 

and for putting up 

such confident and 

considered architecture. The long form bends at the 

center, like a guest book propped open to 

reveal the names inside. (The best vantage 

point from which to read this volume will 

be the High Line, a voyeur’s paradise.) 

once inside, the reason for the angles 

becomes clear: to organize the panorama. 

Some toilets face the towers of midtown, 

some showers offer Hudson River views, 

and the outer walls of sheerest glass turn 

monkish cells into aeries. Below, the 

streets and the High Line answer the 

hotel’s zig with their zags. 

not many guests, I imagine, 

will find their way to the fire stair 

that drops out of the building’s 

underbelly. But if Cézanne were 

a contemporary new Yorker, 

he might set up an easel here. 

The hotel’s taut lines and hard 

surfaces frame the cubist 

cityscape: warehouse roofs and 

criss-crossing streets in the 

middle distance, the vertical 

brushstroke of the Empire State 

Building beyond. What a fine 

way to arrive in manhattan, 

descending on foot through the 

open air.

 

 

 ANYTHING BUT STANDARD

 

Dominating an elevated parkway in Manhattan, Andre Balazs’s 20-storey hined hotel is anything but Standard. There is an unexpected elegance to the Standard New York hotel, a massig 337-room shelter hovering above the hotly anticipated High Line parkway at the edge of the Meatpacking District. 

The almost other-worldly hotel has unconventional materials and looks. A stark grey concrete exterior, perched on towering concrete pylons and an eye-catching interior, reflecting Roman and William’s (W*97) desire ‘to create a sense of cool living shelter.’

[ SOCIAL SPACES ]

At ground level, the Living Room with fire pits. Black granit walls link the entrance to the lobby. The low-lit eve;ator bank is capped by a mirrored light installation, inspired by BMW’s historic headquarters.

Upstairs, a clutch of bars, lounges, a bijou swimming pool, food space, event space.

A KING-SIZE-BED WITH A VIEW

A KING-SIZE-BED WITH A VIEW

848 Washington St., 

nr. W. 12th St.; 

212 -  645 -  4646 

 

 

THE STANDARD HGIHLINE

THE STANDARD HGIHLINE

[ THE STANDARD / MEATPACKING DISTRICT / NYC ]   8:37 PM

 

INDUSTRIAL SLEEK


It would be easy to dismiss the new Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district as a final shout-out to the age of excess. The entire area, whose trendy shops and cafes must still contend with the occasional whiff of rotten meat, reflects a development culture run amok.

Well, that would be a mistake. The boutique hotel, designed by Polshek Partnership, is serious architecture. The first of a string of projects linked to the development of the High Line, a park being built on a segment of abandoned elevated rail tracks, the new building’s muscular form is strong enough to stand up to both its tacky neighbors and the area’s older industrial structures. Its location, on Washington Street at West 13th Street, exploits the clash of scales that has always been a gripping aspect of the city’s character.

In short, it is the kind of straightforward, thoughtfully conceived building that is all too rare in the city today.

Part of this is due to its stunning position. The partially open hotel — 19 floors and 337 rooms — is the only new building that rises directly over the elevated park. The towering structure is supported on massive concrete pillars, while a ground-floor restaurant and garden cafe are tucked underneath the High Line’s hefty steel frame.

I admit to some mixed feelings about the restaurant. Clad in recycled brick, it’s meant to reflect the neighborhood’s old identity as the city’s meat market. A slick black metal canopy is a spiffed-up version of the decrepit canopies that once lined the neighborhood’s sidewalks, without the beef carcasses. The garden’s brick paving and industrial light fixtures look quaintly European. Over all the effect feels about as genuine as a Hollywood back lot.

Still, Polshek smartly plays up the contrast between these spaces and the tough brick, concrete and steel structures that surround it. From the garden cafe people can look up at the High Line’s gorgeous steel underbelly. One of the most enticing fire stairs runs down the side of a concrete leg supporting the hotel, crashing down on the restaurant’s roof before tumbling out on the sidewalk.

Polshek was also careful to segregate the various entries — to the hotel, restaurant and a lounge that will open this summer on the 18th floor — so that hotel guests won’t feel as though they are trapped in an entertainment hell for 20-somethings. (The Standard’s owner, André Balazs, is negotiating with the city to create a more direct connection between the hotel and the High Line, which would significantly diminish this effect as well as compromise the park’s public quality.)

It’s only once you get off the ground, however, that you appreciate the design’s true flair. The hotel is set at a slight angle to the High Line (part of which is to open in June), creating a delicious tension as its deck passes underneath. The building bends slightly near the center, giving it a more streamlined appearance in the skyline and orienting the rooms toward the most spectacular views. To the southwest the facade is angled toward a sweeping view across the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty. To the northeast, guests look out across jagged rooftops to the Empire State Building.

This sense of floating within the city is reinforced by the arrangement of some of the rooms. The rectangular ones on the south side of the building are laid out with their long side along floor-to-ceiling windows. The effect is to bring you up closer to the glass, so that you feel as though you were suspended in midair, with the city just underneath your feet. (Mr. Balazs confessed to an instant of vertigo when he first stepped into one of these rooms.)

These are simple but powerful moves. And they are a reminder that enveloping a structure in a flamboyant wrapper is not always the most effective way to create lasting architecture. In the wrong hands, too much creative freedom can be outright dangerous.

With the Standard Hotel, Polshek Partnership joins a handful of other midlevel firms that are beginning to find the right balance between innovation and restraint. These include the designers of the Bank of America building in Midtown and 1 Madison Park, two projects under construction that suggest a revival of the kind of smart, sleek and confident architecture popularized by architects as diverse as Morris Lapidus and Gordon Bunshaft in the 1950s and ’60s. Those architects didn’t want to start a revolution; they wanted to make glamorous buildings.

Whether this trend will survive the current financial climate, of course, is another matter.


ANDRÉ BALAZS / THE IRON MAN

ANDRÉ BALAZS / THE IRON MAN

ANDRÉ BALAZS

Responsible for some of the most luxurious haunts in the US - the Mercer, Chateau Marmont - André Balazs is already in the hotelier hall of fame. And now, with the opening of his latest, he brings his magic touch to the capital for the first time with the Chiltern Street Firehouse


Sharp American hotelier André Balazs has been waiting to make his power move into London for quite some time now. Back in 2006 he was knuckle-bitingly close. Together with the property developer Anton Bilton, Balazs submitted a £100m bid for Fortress House, one of the landmark buildings of post-war London to be found on Savile Row

At the eleventh hour, however, the bid failed. Of course, this made Balazs even more determined. This month - with the opening of the Chiltern Street Firehouse, a 26-room palace of opulence located in hip, villagey Marylebone, that is part oligarch haven, part high-end aristo-aesthete hang-out - his ambitions (and those of his co-developer Harry Handelsman and investors including Google's Eric Schmidt and Diesel's Renzo Rosso) will finally be realised.

The son of Hungarian immigrants who fled to Sweden during the Second World War before settling down in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the young Balazs read humanities at Cornell University before going on to do a postgraduate business and journalism course at Columbia University, New York. On completion, however, rather than entering the media, he and his father founded what would become a successful biotech company, Biomatrix. Living, walking and working deep within the frenetic, raw streets of SoHo, Balazs' entrepreneurial eye became drawn to the potential of the then cast-iron manufacturing buildings lying abandoned, which were a world away from the fashion stores and high-end eateries of today. 

Opening a nightclub in the Meatpacking District called MK whetted his hospitality-impresario appetite, after which he made his first -significant acquisition when he took over the legendary Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, in 1990. Although the hotel's walls were riddled with starry stories - Jean Harlow slept with Clark Gable in one of its suites; Greta Garbo was once a resident and John Belushi died in one of the private bungalows - the hotel itself had fallen into disrepair. What Balazs was able to do was keep the hotel's priceless Hollywood heritage, yet upgrade and repair every fitting, floor and fabric in order to meet the requirements of the modern, fast-moving, supremely demanding traveller.

There's no doubt the Chiltern Street Firehouse will become the jet set's home from homes

Balazs' tastemaking reputation was cemented- with the opening of the 75-room Mercer in New York, a hotel where early residents included both Rupert Murdoch andCalvin Klein. The understated yet chic subtleties of the Mercer have since made the property first choice for a heady mix of actors, fashion designers and figureheads from the entertainment industries. Soon after the Mercer, he opened the Standard Hollywood, later followed by the Standard High Line in Manhattan - both succeed in being affordable lodgings that are everything chain hotels are not: sexy and whimsical. 

Rex Features

For Balazs it's all about stimulating what he calls "moments". Like the peak-a-boo floor-to-ceiling windows in the Standard High Line or the pretty, near-naked models he places in a Perspex box at the reception to the Standard Hollywood. Balazs understands that rather than simply having a great bar or a cool restaurant, hotels have to give each guest an experience that lasts much more than 24 hours. He takes great care in thinking about every kind of nuanced space for every kind of activity - whether that be a business dinner, a drink with friends, or a more salacious experience with someone you hardly know. 

Chiltern Street Firehouse - built in 1889 and designed by architect Robert Pearsall - with its working fireplaces in most suites, rich textures and exposed wood used throughout, will slot perfectly into Balazs' luxury collection of properties. It is a set that, alongside the Mercer, includes Sunset Beach in Shelter Island, New York. Using the idea of a grand old English house, the main restaurant will be home to Michelin-starred chefNuno Mendes, and the intimate bar is the perfect place to either drop in, drop out or to drop your schedule for the rest of the afternoon. There's no doubt it will quickly become the capital's wealthy jet set's home from homes. The playboy king of American hotels has final arrived. London, it's your round. 

andrebalazsproperties.com

ANDRÉ + STNDAIR CONNECTION NYC - THE HAMPTONS 

ANDRÉ + STNDAIR CONNECTION NYC - THE HAMPTONS