1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park
The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is a meditation on the Brooklyn waterfront’s three evolutionary stages. Firstly, it addresses the contemporary identity and brand of Brooklyn that is recognized both locally and internationally. In addition to connecting to the contemporary identity of Brooklyn, the hotel nods to the historic, hardworking, shipping roots of the Brooklyn waterfront in materials such as rope and the bleached aged wood of piers. INC looked at historic wharfs, wharf architecture and materiality to capture the industrial ancestry of the waterfront. The integration of crates, palettes, moving blankets, valves, and levers, links back to INC’s fascination of tools and purpose built artifacts. Lastly, the hotel’s 100% natural focus is a meditation on the waterfront prior to its urban use. Indigenous species are used in the park in front of the hotel as an homage to the nature that dominated the land so many years back. The hotel is less designed and more assembled with the help of local artists. The One Brooklyn Bridge Hotel design is ad hoc and truly tailored to the Brooklyn culture.
At INC “context is king”. We believe that the cultural, physical, and historical context of a project can drive good design. We believe that a project can legitimately take its place in the environment of a city and in the hearts of its users by connecting to its physical and cultural conditions. INC believed from the beginning that Brooklyn’s rich vibrant culture and architectural traditions are the “unique selling proposition” for the 1 Hotel Brooklyn project. We fucking love this project. Today’s travelers expect to connect to place through the hotel experience. Our goal was to capture the essence of Brooklyn and the character of the immediate context of the hotel site in a designed environment that went beyond the clichés. We wanted to share our love of this place.
We sought to represent the Brooklyn aesthetic without slavishly recapitulating Brooklyn “the brand”. We all know the look. You can go to a “Brooklyn Style” restaurant in Shijuku. It’s a dark and mood 19th century inspired industrialism, or is it? We don’t think so. The closer we looked the more we realized that Brooklyn is an ever evolving, intensely creative design disruptor. Our goal was to create a visual story, a narrative, in the 1 Hotel that would capture the real and ever evolving Brooklyn.
The missions of INC, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the 1 Hotel are one and the same. We seek to create sustainable environments to work play and live in while respecting, and enhancing our connection to, nature. At INC we work globally and take a global environmental view by implementing best practices naturally, not as an afterthought. This hotel will be LEED gold. The park has been a game changer. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates transformed a brownfield coastal wasteland into a vibrant natural habitat with seven distinct eco systems that support a dense population of newly returned wildlife. Our goal was to pull the park directly into the hotel with greenery and physcal materials. We oriented every space toward the park. We applied design strategies connected to the natural beauty just out the window. We looked to the materiality, rock formations, beach heads, wharf, and plant structures surrounding the site for inspiration.
At 1 Hotel our goal was to tap into the deep bench of talent represented in Brooklyn’s craftsman culture. We sought out collaborations with furniture makers, millworkers, stone masons, leather workers, engineers, and lighting manufacturers to fashion an environment imbued with the spirit and ingenuity of Brooklyn.
1 Hotel and INC, also took a curatorial approach to much of the furnishings and objects that will be found in the Hotel. We collected a group of original objects by some of Brooklyn’s brightest design stars including Eric Sayton, Taylor Forrest, May Furniture Company, Bien Hecho, MMaterial, Moses Nadel, Friends x Family and Uhuru among others. This collection of unique objects will define the character of the public spaces turning the lobby into Brooklyn ‘s living room.
Our goal in this context was to capture the modern creative independence of Brooklyn & it's “do-it-yourself” culture of the made not designed. Much has been written of Brooklyn’s “maker” culture. But what do we mean when we use the words “crafted” & “made”? At INC we see this as an emphasis on problem solving, an honest use of materials, a simplicity of form and most importantly an interest in how things are made not just what they look like. Beauty here is the by-product of thoughtful solutions, practical applications, and the usefulness of the well-crafted object.
Beyond the immediate physical and cultural context, we looked to the rich history of the site. Walt Whitman called to us across the ages in his poem, Leaves of Grass written in 1900, about arriving on the ferry from Manhattan where saw beauty in the hardworking, industriousness of the Brooklyn wharfs. He “saw the white sails of schooners and sloops—saw the ships at anchor, the sailors at work in the rigging, or out astride the spars….” The Brooklyn wharfs of his time were the life line of the city supplying the factories of the borough the stuff of industry. To us Walt’s Brooklyn seemed a lot like todays creative hardworking present. We sought to connect the 1 Hotel to that straight forward honest past through a humble materiality and a simplicity of form.
INC sees a certain beauty in the overlooked, the undiscover and the underappreciated. Beyond style or fashion, we are attracted to the recycled, re-purposed and recovered because we hate waste and believe that good design can elevate. This is the essence of upcycling were a lesser “waste” material through good design or an inventive manufacturing process is elevated into a category of higher value. We believe the power of “Brooklyn” design isn’t Edison light bulbs but rather it’s emphasis on ingenuity, creativity, and inventiveness which is for us design at its best.
Finally, in our deep dive into the Brooklyn aesthetic we were struck by the functional beauty of the designed objects coming out of the borough. We identify with the way in which these designers explore the inherent qualities of their materials. We are amazed at the elegance of the efficiency of their design solutions. These designers take whatever is at hand and assemble it into something built to solve a problem beautifully. Stacking, splicing, clustering, an honest use of material and a hybrid approach are their hallmarks. Most importantly these designers are all creating objects made to last. These are designs that are the opposite of disposable. This inspiring context lead to a purpose-built made-to-last aesthetic of an additive assembled ad hocism.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park – Building Stats:
Total Square Feet: 134,807 SF
Restaurant: 4,000 SF
1st Floor Bar: 700 SF
1st Floor Café: 1,400 SF
Lobby: 3,600 SF
Ballroom: 6,254 SF
Ballroom Pre-Function: 5,289 SF
Gym: 735 SF
Meeting Rooms: 2,540 SF
10th Floor Bar: 2,550 SF
Standard King Guestroom: 280 SF
Presidential Suite: 2,000 SF
# of Keys: 194
Screening Room: 50
Restaurant Bar Area: 54
Restaurant Main Dining: 80 (8 of these at bar height open kitchen)
Restaurant Private Dining Room: 12
Club Lounge/Bar: 25
Club North Meeting Room: 8
Club North Meeting Room Lounge: 5
Club South Meeting Room: 152
10th Floor Bar Main Space: 52 chairs/sofas/stools (there are also poufs people can sit on to make 60, as well as additional bar height tables and stools by ownership that we do not know the quantity – can ask the purchasing agent for exact number)
10th Floor Bar Private Dining Room: 14
10th Floor Bar Private Lounge: 6 (or 8 with poufs)