I see by yesterday’s news that the new Standard Hotel
in the Meatpacking District has won a MASterwork Award from the Municipal Art Society for excellence in urban architecture. The hotel straddles the Highline — the new urban park built on abandoned elevated train tracks that opened yesterday. This gives me a chance to dust off my notes on the building, and to scoop the Highline Park — highly anticipated by yours truly.
I watched The Standard go up over the last year or two from the Hudson River Park without really knowing that it was to be a hotel. I admired its bent slabbiness-on-stilts silhouette, which we now see. The style of The Standard is basic friendly Mid-Century simplicity. The public areas have pedestal tables, flagstones and paper lamps; the rooms themselves are designed along a yacht theme with banquet seating and wood slats lining the walls and ceilings. In terms of color, the palette is fairly neutral — planes of warm wood, and red and yellow brick punctuate black and white, brown and grey. If you have a drink downstairs in the lounge you’re sitting on what look like Danish modern chairs in red and maroon.
But the park! Paris has one of these, too, an urban ribbon of trees floating above street level upon ancient train tracks. I had no idea how thrilling ours would be. I only went a few blocks, from the entrance at Gansevoort up to 18th Street, but you’re immersed in a constantly changing sea of urban vistas, involving plants, art and architecture, beautiful buildings and the sun slipping slowly into the Hudson. Thank goodness for smart urban development. The Highline is a new "Great Outdoors" for everyone in the city to enjoy.
New Yorkers — have you been to check out the Highline yet?
(Images: Michael Tavani and Mark Chamberlain)
- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter