The Standard Highline
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130,000 sq. ft. - New York, NY Summer 2009
As a brand, the Standard Hotels around the country have always implied sexiness and irony to their guests. The Standard Highline in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan has a stark concrete glass and brick exterior floating above the High Line. The Standard Highline’s interiors, designed by Roman and Williams, are varied and unexpected.
In preliminary meetings, Robin and Stephen talked with Andre Balazs, the owner of The Standard Hotels, about embracing the High Line’s industrial history—in contrast to the Standard’s tower, and its modern foot that stomps down into the established neighborhood. The spaces would ascend through the building in a progression of eras, from the 19th century into the future. They imagined how the guests would feel, and how, upon entering the hotel, they’d be transported into a timeless dream. They’d find rooms that exuded a sense of warmth. At the top they’d encounter an elegant space with sweeping views over the city. The experience, they told Balazs, would be about escape—coming out of yourself and being anybody you want to be.
In crafting the Standard Highline, the guestrooms had to speak to the ethos of The Standard while incorporating a finer material palette and making the experience sophisticated enough for the New York, and international, audience. In contrast to the concrete shell of the building, Roman and Williams strived to give the rooms a warmth that harkened to a hive environment – organic and beautiful, but also efficient. The breathtaking views from the floor to ceiling starfire glass windows of the guestrooms served as the ideal backdrop to Roman and Williams’ open and airy design. Packed with texture and color and light, they are clad in customized handmade orange, black and cream tile. The bedrooms have a tambour wooden ceiling and headboard. Roman and Williams infused this modernist space with an aura of timelessness that is not weighted down with memory.