A step in the Wythe Direction

First hotel opens in Brooklyn's trendiest neighborhood

by Sian 03 October 2012
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    The Wythe Hotel opened under watchful eyes in May 2012 as the hotly anticipated new centre of hip happenings in the hyper-trendy Williamsburg neighbourhood in Brooklyn. The 73-key hotel was developed by Two Trees Management, well known for their early pioneering in the transformation of DUMBO, and Morris Adjmi Architects was selected to convert this former industrial loft building in order to capture and retain the raw post-industrial and offbeat bohemian vibe that has come to define this corner of Brooklyn.

    While much of the brick, cast iron, and timber-frame building was stripped back in time and restored, one bay of the structure was removed and replaced with a new all-glass and metal façade, affording west-facing guestrooms panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and sunset.

    The floor area removed in demolition was reconstructed as a 4-story glass and steel penthouse that features a terrace bar and incorporates marquee lighting to create a night time beacon atop the building.

    The interior retains many of the original industrial elements, such as antique manufacturing equipment now repurposed as sculpture in situ and wood reclaimed from the demolition reused in creating new guestroom furniture. Finish materials, such as cork and radiant-heated polished concrete, were chosen for their durability and ease of maintenance. And in one of its most novel features, the hotel sports two "band rooms" outfitted with eight bunk beds each to provide accommodation for musicians playing gigs across the street at the renowned Brooklyn Bowl.

    With additional guest amenities that include a lobby library, flexible event space, screening room, and Andrew Tarlow's restaurant Reynards, the hotel is at once both luxe accommodation and laid-back neighborhood hangout. "We were careful not to overdesign," says architect Morris Adjmi. "Doing less allowed for more of the essence and history of the building to come through."

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