DESIGN: Baccarat Hotel NYC Preview
by Raymond Herrera
Since it’s origins as a glassworks during Louis XV’s reign, Baccarat has been designing objects from jewelry to chandeliers. In 2005, Baccarat was acquired by Starwood Capital Group. Last year, Starwood made plans to use the name for a luxury hotel chain that will feature the company’s chandeliers. Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Tony Ingrao of Ingrao, the new 50-story glass tower in New York City, with the MoMA across the street, will become the swanky new flagship for Baccarat Hotels & Residences.
The program includes 61 residences, and a luxury hotel, with 114 rooms, including 26 suites, a spa, an indoor pool and fitness facility, a standalone “crystal bar” surrounded by an outdoor Tuileries-style terrace, and a bar and restaurant.
“We’re introducing materials that are incredibly special – unusual woods, bronze-work crackled with crystal coming through, white onyx and frosted mirrored glass. We’ve used natural elements in a modern way to create a real sense of warmth, to make people feel like they’re being embraced,” says designer Tony Ingrao of his selections.
Prices range from $3.5 million to $60 million and layouts range from approximately 1,000 s/f to 7,400 s/f, with the option for buyers to combine units, and the owners will have complete access to all luxury hotel amenities and services.
Party! With fancy bathing suits of course, and good decorum… probably.
Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, who owns the investment firm building this and four other hotel/condo combos in New York and South Beach, Mia. says, “It will provide an unmatched experience for guests and residents to admire the company’s artisanship and commitment to perfection in both service and design.”
Perfection? The building is minimal with it’s glass and black steel facades. The design almost seems like a respectful gesture, where the architect is holding up an elegant mirror to the building across the street designed by Yoshio Tanguchi that houses the first curatorial department devoted to architecture and design. But it could have used glass in a way that better salutes the history of the company that bears the new chain’s name. A boutique firm leading the architecture as opposed to a commercial firm might have been a better pairing with Ingrao for the brand to reflect that hand crafted, tailored, detailed look for the building, that is more apparent in the interiors.
Video by James Eades for Interior Design Magazine
Interior Design Magazine spoke with Tony Ingrao, designer on the project, about his work with Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the architects. The building is scheduled for completion later in 2014, which will also be Baccarat’s 250th anniversary.