Design Firm For Inaugural Property
AvroKO, New York
Use every tool in the kit to craft start-to-finish branding, a visual identity and interior design for the first properties that would launch a 4-star micro-hotel flag, Arlo Hotels. Pack a full range of upscale amenities and style-led FF&E into a sub-200-sq.-ft. guest room (most are closer to 160 sq. ft.). Rethink the public spaces as a home-away-from-home for “urban explorers” seeking a haven in the city, while creating a mini-neighborhood with food, music, workspaces and gathering places for locals.
AvroKO’s design team began by defining the guest experience based on small, efficient guest rooms paired with generous multipurpose public spaces, moved on to developing the brand with its sister firm, Brand Bureau, and then designed Arlo’s first two locations in New York’s Hudson Square and Nomad neighborhoods. No worries about the smallish in-room footprint. “We eliminated anything extraneous in the rooms, focusing on what was most important to the target guest: a premium mattress and bedding, a great shower and good media,” says Kristina O’Neal, founding principal, AvroKO. High-touch materials such as wood, concrete, and wool carpet add visual warmth to the space. An assortment of bed types, ranging from alcove beds to bunk beds, lets guests curate their experience. Fold-down desks, unexpected storage solutions (such as the under-bed drawer) and closets with adjustable hanging pegs take full advantage of every available inch of space.
The Director’s Cut
“The large public spaces of the hotel were designed to encourage guests to spend less time in their rooms and more time creating personal connections with other guests and locals,” says Adam Farmerie, founding principal. Both groups get to find their tribe thanks to a layout that subdivides the public area into a music room, a library, a living room, two bars and a restaurant. “We wanted destinations that could accommodate a variety of activities throughout the day,” says Greg Bradshaw, founding principal. Glass doors, folding partitions and movable furniture help facilitate the day-to-night transition, allowing for informal meetings, programming and events.
The Highlight Reel
Branding is becoming a big part of the design scope. “When the branding team was brought into the mix, the construction of the then-unbranded hotel was already well underway,” says William Harris, founding principal. “Built upon the principles of small room design, efficiency and luxury, the team needed to distill the tenets of the interior design into the essential elements that would be necessary to scale [the new flag].They needed a story, a name, an identity and a sense of purpose.”
Involve collaborators from the get-go. AvroKO elevated this conventional wisdom into fresh thinking by conceiving several site-specific artworks with artist Ryan Humphrey while he was staying in the hotel during construction.
OWNERS: Quadrum Global, New York; Eagle Point Hotel Partners, New York; OPERATOR: Arlo Hotels, New York; DESIGN FIRM: AvroKO, New York: Kristina O’Neal, Adam Farmerie, Greg Bradshaw and William Harris, founding principals; Lexie Aliotti, studio leader; Kimberly Jackson, managing senior designer; Penelope Fischer-White, senior designer; ARCHITECT: Gene Kaufman Architect, New York; PURCHASING COMPANY: GS Associates, Newburyport, Massachusetts; DESIGN CONSULTANTS: Brand Bureau (branding, graphics); Brian Orter Lighting Design (lighting); ART & ACCESSORIES: Crate & Barrel; Humphrey Industries; Room and Board; Silver Hill Atelier; BATH & SPA: Apaiser; Lefroy Brooks; FLOORCOVERINGS: Sacco; Get Real Surfaces; Griffith Intl.; FURNITURE: Amuneal; Artek; Avenue Road; Cheng Meng Furniture; DelForm Studios; GoodShop Manufacturies; Gore Design Co.; Greenform; Ian Ingerson Cabinet Maker; KFF; Knoll Studio; Ligne Roset; Lily Jack; Mails Woodwork; Mesh Fabrication; Suite NY; Uhuru Furniture & Collectables; LIGHTING: Allied Maker; GoodShop Manufacturies; Royal Contract Lighting; Savoy Studios; SURFACING MATERIALS: Designtex; Moore and Giles; WALLCOVERINGS: Benjamin Moore; Design and Direct Source; Expanko; Terra Mai; Texston Architectural Surfaces