The Wythe Hotel – New York / by Morris Adjmi Architects and Worksted

When you think about Williamsburg, you imagine trendy independent food outlets, vintage flea markets, edgy art communes. Authentic character is at the heart of every business, and no hotel better typifies the area than the Wythe Hotel.

Standing testament to the areas industrial heritage stood a vacant 5 storey former textile factory, originally built in 1901, this brick warehouse would become the shell for Morris Adjmi’s Wythe Hotel.

Gutted and stripped back to its original facade, a modern glass and steel tower block infills and rises from the brick shell of the textile factory giving another 4 storeys to the hotel. The simplistic proportions mirror that of former factory windows, yet scaled up to bring fantastic day lighting into the upper floor guest rooms, an offering unparalleled views across to Manhattan and over Brooklyn.

The interiors are full of original features, grand scale windows, exposed brick work, cast iron columns, tiled floors & timber ceilings, which help retain plenty of the buildings gritty heritage.

However the expansive floor to ceiling heights but cleverly sparse furniture layouts means that each space feels contrastingly clean and modern in its conception.

This balance of original personality re imagined with a fresh modern style is no better captured than in through the guest arrival into reception. Guests are met with Full height industrial windows flooding one side of the long lobby space, while new timber floors, simple joinery and neutral wall paint tone down the doggedness of the interiors.

Punchy wall art in each seating area creates individually defined neighbourhoods that are linked together with an original hoist track that runs along the ceiling, now re purposed to host a series of modern industrial light fittings that hang on black wires into the lobby.

Morris Adjmi describes:

“An old conveyer belt remains as “found art” and a reminder that buildings don’t belong to any single moment in time, but exist in a continuum of experience and memory.”

Also on the ground floor is one of the Wythe’s most popular restaurants, Reynards. Again benefiting from eye wateringly high ceilings, and exposed brick walls and windows, this elegant offering provides the street level activation that so many hotels demand, linking street, restaurant and hotel lobby with a buzz whatever the time of day.

A stylish timber panelled bar with antiqued mirror shelving creates the back drop to the restaurant arrival, vintage chairs, timber topped tables & black deco lighting give a real elegance to Reynards. Of course under the watchful eye of established led Brooklyn restaurateur Andrew Tarlow, the menu is exquisite.

Tallow is also behind perhaps the Wythes most iconic spaces, Ides; it’s 6th floor bar that gives unprecedented views out over Manhattan island. Located at the junction between the super sleek glass extension and the original brick factory, it provides full height glass walls fronting onto the city scape and an outdoor terrace.

Unlike most bars, the bar itself spans across the windows, using the view itself as the feature wall, while Gold framed mirrors positioned on the deep turquoise interior walls reflect the Manhattan sky line, where ever you look you have a connection back to the island.

The hotel itself contains 72 guestrooms, and whether they are situated in the new or the old part of the building, they all benefit from fantastic full height windows that provide brilliant day lighting into the rooms.

The decor again is a balance of modern palettes and the gritty heritage elements. Poured concrete floors contrast with original timber ceilings, while exposed rough brickwork oppose opulent wallpapered walls that frame the bed. This duality works so well in every room type, whether a queen, king or suite, elements continually oppose each other but the end result is an interior of balance, that help create a sense of rest and relaxation, exactly what you want from a guest room.

Queen Room

King Room

Simple furniture and retro pieces complete the authenticity of the Williamsburg retreat, but again only ever a smattering around these vast volumes created by the high ceilings. Where ever you are in the hotel you always feel free and never cluttered by your surroundings.

Bathrooms are fresh and clean, with white subway tiled walls, black framed mirrors and vanity and black geometric patterned floor tiles. The shower is modern and open with a large glass screen that divides the bathroom.

The Wythe has truly engrained itself into the Williamsburg social and cultural scene. With its Beautiful interiors, unbeatable views over Manhattan and fashionable food and beverage offering, all tied together with a gritty Williamsburg edge. The success of the re imagination of the former factory warehouse is all in Adjmi’s careful detailing and contrasting new with old.

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