Even in the city that never sleeps, cool kids need a place to power down (at least long enough to recharge before heading back out to conquer the world). Sam Gelin, founder of MADE Hotels, fills that gap with his brand’s 108-key first outpost in NoMad, at the not-exactly-tranquil corner of Broadway and 29th St.
Gelin and Los Angeles-based Studio MAI knew they’d have to be as extreme in crafting serenity as they would be in creating an up-to-an-11 nightclub. Brutalist and minimalist reference points put the design on a strict diet of wood, concrete and occasional global touches such as an African birthing chair-turned-table on the rooftop. Keeping focal points big—think blond wood paneling in the Ferris restaurant or gray ceilings in the guest rooms—obviates the need for layer on layer of FF&E.
Studio MAI and Gelin also knew that next-level multifunctionality was a must. No extra interior walls divide the lobby. “Structural barriers were removed to allow for social interaction,” he says.
The rooms are tailored around an evolved approach toward the guest experience, making those spaces easier for guests to customize to their tastes. Floating desks save space. Placing them on a rack system lets guests configure the space to their needs. Wood platforms beneath the beds don’t just house storage space; they also allow guests an unexpected piece of low seating on which to rest. Floor-to-ceiling windows anchor the rooms.
Gelin also knew that nothing in the hotel could be overwhelming—especially given the locale. Even seemingly tranquil elements like a green wall had to be conceived in a way that had a subtler impact.
“Like every element at MADE, we wanted the greenery to feel understated. So, we layered in the plants over time. For example, rather than start off with a fully grown green wall, this one started out as smaller plants, introducing binary elements of time and spatial dimension,” he says.
That kind of natural evolution is reflected in the way guests are drawn through each space. Colored textiles, textured objects (like the round stone basin sinks in guest rooms) and lighting work as gentle signposts.
Maybe even New York needs to calm down already.