Martin Brudnizki transform NY office building into Beekman Hotel

In this movie, interior designer Martin Brudnizki describe how he used vintage furniture and fabrics to bring on a homely atmosphere in New York’s Beekman Hotel, which was shortlisted in two categories at the AHEAD Americas awards.

The Beekman Hotel is a conversion of a 19th-century office building in New York. It opened last year in the Financial District in Manhattan.

The hotel was shortlisted in the Bar, Club or Lounge and Lobby and Public Spaces categories at the inaugural AHEAD Americas hospitality awards, which take place in Miami last June.

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“At first the building was built as law offices in 1881, and it is an amazingly beautiful structure,” explains Brudnizki in the movie, which Dezeen filmed in London for AHEAD Awards.

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“The design team’s approach from the beginning was to respect that, almost like a conversation that we had with the building throughout the project.”

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One of the building’s original features is a huge pyramid-shaped skylight, nine-story atrium, which Brudnizki converted into a blended lobby, lounge and bar.

“The great trademark of the Beekman Hotel is, of course, its atrium,” Brudnizki says. “But the issue was how to make this feel comfy.”

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Brudnizki used a range of green shades on the walls “to close the space in a little bit” and filled the atrium space with a mix of vintage furniture, cushions and rugs from the 1940s to the 1970s.

“The entire idea of that lobby is that it is very residential,” he explains. “It should look almost natural in a way, that it has developed over time and things have been replaced and added to it.”

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The hotel also features a dining space on the ground floor, run by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.

Brudnizki says he wanted to build a simpler, more pared-back aesthetic for the restaurant, but one that people would still feel confortable in.

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“I think the major thing is that people feel relaxed,” he explains.

“And comfortability is ergonomic – when you sit in a chair – but it is all the other senses as well. I wanted it to be an immersive experience.”

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