The Standard engages its urban context through contrast, blending unique architectural and structural concepts within a complex and changing urban fabric. Sculptural piers, whose forms clearly separate the building from the orthogonal street grid, raise the building fifty-seven feet off the street, allowing the horizontally-scaled industrial landscape to pass beneath it and natural light to penetrate to the street. The building’s two slabs are 'hinged', angled to further emphasise the hotel’s distinction from the city’s grid and its levitation above the neighbourhood. The juxtaposition of the building’s materials – poured-in-place, board-formed concrete and glass – reflects the character of New York City; the gritty quality of the concrete contrasts with the refinement of the glass. The concrete grid provides a delicate frame for the exceedingly transparent water-white glass, the two materials unified in the continuous plane of the curtain wall. This exterior wall breaks with the traditional architecture of hotels, replacing opacity with transparency, privacy with openness and defining a new paradigm.
Andre Balazs Properties’ Standard brand has no signature architectural style. Each hotel is unique; the brand is recognised for designs that are specific to and expressive of their context. Todd Schliemann’s design for The Standard, New York exploits this mandate; the hotel is undeniably of its place, it blurs the distinction between public and private in a city whose identity is as much about neighbourhoods and intimacy as it is about anonymity, and it immerses itself in the activity of the street at the same time as its hovering form disengages it. Completed in 2009, the new eighteen-story, 204,500 sq ft, 337-room hotel is located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, a vibrant neighborhood on the City’s western edge. The design celebrates the opportunities and challenges of interacting with the High Line, an abandoned, elevated railroad line, which has been developed as a new linear public park.