One of the most beautiful buildings in New York City, the Knickerbocker is a legendary landmark reborn as a luxury hotel in Times Square. Designed by Peter Poon Architects with interior design by Gabellini Sheppard Associates, the reinvention of the Knickerbocker was completed in February 2015.
Financed by John Jacob Astor IV, who was one of the wealthiest people in the world at one time, the Knickerbocker Hotel was constructed in 1902 and designated as a landmark in 1988. Featuring a Beaux-Art facade of red brick, terracotta details and a prominent mansard roof, the original architects were Marvin & Davis, with Bruce Price as consultant. Over the years, this once magnificent hotel became relegated to a mixed use commercial building. In 2010 however, Peter Poon Architects were commissioned to transform the Knickerbocker back into a luxury, high-end hotel. The architects were responsible for the new interior layout, additions to the ground floor and roof, as well as a renovation of the Beaux-Art Facade. The 15-storey, 175,000 square foot reinvention includes a new grand lobby, espresso bar, restaurant, wine room, library, lounge, private event space, health club, rooftop lounge and 330 fully redesigned guest rooms and suites.
The finishing of the hotel’s interior is impressive in its luxury and fine selection of materials. The grand entrance lobby welcomes guest with a vaulted metallic ceiling, illuminated stepped ceiling panels and alternating bands of light and medium-toned marble flooring beneath. The adjacent Italian espresso bar and café, with its atmospheric lighting and breccia capraia marble bar, transforms at night into a glamorous cocktail lounge. On the fourth floor, the 122-seat Charlie Palmer restaurant features a custom-designed bar with lightweight metal mesh curtains and mica interlayer glass screen. And on the roof, the St. Cloud lounge boasts a one of a kind interior bar that wraps around a wooden dance floor with a silver metallic finish.
The 330 guest rooms and suites also offer a ‘made to measure’ experience of luxury materials and custom furnishings including ‘floating armoires’ between sleeping and bathing areas and beautiful writing desks that will inspire you to pick up a pen. The bathrooms are spacious and modern, with marble surrounded sinks, walk-in rainshowers enclosed with glass and Villeroy & Boch Architectura Wall-mounted WCs. Four themed suites are located on the top floors, each inspired by one of the hotel’s legendary guests: tenor Enrico Caruso, playwright Geoge Cohan, artist Maxfield Parrish, and Martini Di Arma Di Taggia, the hotel’s bartender known for inventing the Martini cocktail.
From its bars to its bedrooms and bathroom, the renewed Knickerbocker certainly represents New York City style at its finest.