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New Kid on the Block: A Skinny-Luxe Lower East Side Apartment Hotel

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New Kid on the Block: A Skinny-Luxe Lower East Side Apartment Hotel

March 21, 2018

The slender tower that spans the block between Allen and Orchard streets on NYC’s Lower East Side is a recent build designed to fit in, and, in typical New Yorker fashion, to make a style statement. The building is set on an in-fill lot with an extremely narrow footprint, and architects Matthew Grzywinski and Amador Pons of Grzywinski & Pons responded to the spatial challenge by designing a two-faced structure: a skinny, 10-story tower with a louvered crown on the Allen Street side, the wider of the two thoroughfares, and an adjoining but low-impact five-story volume on narrow Orchard Street.

On the interior, grit meets grandeur: exposed girders, columns, and masonry are balanced with refined finishes and softly textured furnishings. “These are rooms in the heart of the Lower East Side, and as pampered as one might be within them, we wouldn’t want you to think you were anywhere else,” say the architects. Initially commissioned to be a collection of furnished studios and apartments, the project has since morphed into the Sago Hotel, an under-the-radar boutique lodging offering short- and long-term stays. Here’s a look at our favorite design elements.

Photography by Nicholas Worley, courtesy of Grzywinski & Pons (@mgrzywinski).

&#8\2\20;we wanted the first five floors to pay homage to the existing maso 9
Above: “We wanted the first five floors to pay homage to the existing masonry and stucco tenement neighbors,” say the architects.

Shown here is the towering Allen Street entrance of handmade coal-fired brick with rusticated edging and zinc-clad top floors with balconies set off by a “veil of louvers.” Note that as the building rises, the bricks subtly darken in color until they’re a close match for the zinc panels.

&#8\2\20;deeply framed glazing adds to the facade’s texture while mitigat 10
Above: “Deeply framed glazing adds to the facade’s texture while mitigating solar heat gain,” says Grzywinski.
wall and stairs are clad in calacatta marble. &#8\2\20;we left it rough on  11
Above: Wall and stairs are clad in Calacatta marble. “We left it rough on the treads with groove near the nosing, so it wouldn’t be slippery,” says Grzywinski. “We liked the subtle variation of finishes it yielded on the otherwise uniform material.”
a michael anastassiades ic lights f floor lamp for flos pairs with patricia u 12
Above: A Michael Anastassiades IC Lights F floor lamp for Flos pairs with Patricia Urquiola’s interpretation of a Windsor, the Kartell Comeback Chair of molded plastic and wood.
the michael anastassiades&#8\2\17;s ic lights f lighting continues in th 13
Above: The Michael Anastassiades’s IC Lights F lighting continues in the lobby sitting area, furnished with Patricia Urquiola’s quilted Redondo Small Amrchairs by Moroso. The round gray table is Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s CPH 250 Coffee Table for Hay. The wide-plank oak floorboards are from Hakwood.
 grzywinski & pons supplied the reception area with paneled storage detail 14
Above: Grzywinski & Pons supplied the reception area with paneled storage detailed with a marble niche. The trio of porcelain vases are Muuto’s Balance Vase Set.

The black-and-white floor tiles were sourced from Viva Ceramica; the metal chair is the Magis Steelwood Armchair by the Bouroullec brothers.

a sliding door divides the bedroom from the living area in this one bedroom set 15
Above: A sliding door divides the bedroom from the living area in this one-bedroom setup. The beds have custom cork headboards and metal and wood side tables. The bedside sconces are the classic Lampe Gras Model 304.
an inspired color combination in an en suite bath: celadon mosa global collecti 16
Above: An inspired color combination in an en suite bath: celadon Mosa Global Collection Tiles alongside a lilac closet. The architects aren’t able to supply paint specs but say all came from Benjamin Moore.

The Duravit sink has a Vola faucet. For a similar bathmat, consider DWR’s Teak Mat by Mogens Holmriis.

&#8\2\20;as we designed the building, we loved exposing the structural stee 17
Above: “As we designed the building, we loved exposing the structural steel and concrete blocks,” Grzywinski tells us. “The color-blocking unified all the elements more than a single color would. We made the line at 54 inches above the floor, and used sage on the bottom and white on top.”
leaving the construction materials exposed &#8\2\20;made the narrow buildin 18
Above: Leaving the construction materials exposed “made the narrow building have a bigger yield and introduced texture,” adds Grzywinski, who says there’s a “special character the light has when it stretches through the interiors; grazing walls, upholstery, bedding, and tile. We designed them all in such a way as to extol the virtues of that long light.”

The rhombus floor and wall tiles here are from Mutina’s Tex by Raw Edges collection, designed to end with a sawtooth edge. See them applied in a bath below.

west elm&#8\2\17;s midcentury circlet ogee quilt was selected because it &a 19
Above: West Elm’s Midcentury Circlet Ogee Quilt was selected because it “texturally matches” the Patricia Urquiola club chairs used here and there—and also works well with Urquiola’s Comeback Chair, here in white with oak legs.
rooms have prime views down allen street to the financial district. 20
Above: Rooms have prime views down Allen Street to the financial district.

The headboards are Portuguese cork on an MDF base, and finishing the edges is the tricky part: “The key is to get the cork thick enough, so it can be mitered at the corners,” says Grzywinski.

 mutina&#8\2\17;s tex by raw edges tiles enclose an edge bathtub from vi 21
Above: Mutina’s Tex by Raw Edges tiles enclose an Edge Bathtub from Victoria & Albert with an Axor Starck Freestanding Tub Filler.

Just about all of the rooms come with kitchenettes. See them at the Sago Hotel, and explore the building inside and out at Grzywinski & Pons.

Peruse our Travel Archive for more NYC hotels recommendations, including the Grzywinski & Pons-designed Boro Hotel in Long Island City.

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