Chelsea, New York, USA
The 12-story boutique hotel is located in the Chelsea neighbourhood of New York City. The building was designed by Handel Architects as a conversion of the main annex of the existing building into the Dream Downtown Hotel.
Along the 17th Street exposure, the sloped facade was clad in stainless steel tiles, which were placed in a running bond pattern, referring to the original mosaic tiles of the Union building that once occupied the site. New porthole windows were added, one of the same dimension as the original and one half the size, loosening the rigid grid of the previous design, while creating a new façade of controlled chaos and verve. The tiles reflect the sky, sun, and moon, and when the light hits the façade perfectly, the stainless steel disintegrates and the circular windows appear to float like bubbles. The orthogonal panels fold at the corners, continuing the slope and generating a contrasting effect to the window pattern of the north façade.
The 16th Street side of the building, previously a blank façade when the building served as an annex, was given new life. The skin is constructed of two perforated stainless steel layers, its top sheet of holes a replication of the 17th Street punched-window design and the inner sheet a regular perforation pattern. The outer rain screen is punctured with porthole-shaped Juliet balconies for the guest rooms and peels up at the ground level to form the hotel canopy and reveal the hotel entrance.