Following the opening of Moxy Times Square, Rockwell Group is designing the amenities at Moxy Chelsea. The hotel’srestaurant, lounge, and rooftophave been conceived as places of discovery, surprise, and rejuvenation—Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden” meets Milan’s Villa NecchiCampiglio. Tucked into the bustle of Manhattan’s historic Flower District, guests encounter a botanically inspired design and crafted romance seen through a thoroughly modern lens.
Layers of rich color, material, pattern, and form combine to create a unique design unseen before in New York. Together these elements appeal to today’s youthful global traveler or sophisticated city insider who craves a contextual sense of place as well as escape. The resulting design cocktail creates a highly sophisticated and curated environment embracing today’s multi-tasking, multi-communicating, multi-experiential world.
The 349-key hotel features exquisite craftsmanship and unexpected details at every turn, from the ground floor Italian restaurant that feels like a modern interpretation of a secret spot off of a narrow side street in Rome, to the indoor-outdoor rooftop bar that celebrates views of the Empire State Building and New York City skyline. The rooftop is the physical and spiritual apex of the hotel, offering both a refuge and prospect from a lush interior landscape with enthralling art installations specific to the Garden District.
The restaurant is entered at street level and organized as a series of choreographed rooms culminating in an outdoor terrace. Inspired to create a clear distinction between the street and the hotel, as well as an immediate, curated moment, a collection of colorful Italian candy displays greets visitors at the 28th Street entrance. Beyond the apothecary candy jars, apéritif and digestif bottles hover on delicate glass and brass shelves creating an unexpected juxtaposition that sets the tone for everything Moxy Chelsea. After guests enter the transparent and ribbed glass-paned lobby vestibule they also encounter a window-side, old school doughnut machine that appeals to everyone’s inner child and a pass-through window that allows patrons to pick up coffee, freshly made doughnuts and pastries on the go in the morning.
Recessed Venetian plaster walls holding a collection of containers, a terra cotta-like barrel vault ceiling, and refined geometric light fixtures all conspire to transport guests to early 20th Century Milan and Rome. A ribbon of over scaled mosaic tile floor dramatizes the counter from the expanse of floor with a stripped, biased pattern introducing patrons to a geometric motif occurring throughout Moxy. Passing through the cafe and bar, guests enter the main dining room of Feroce. Also capped with a barrel vaulted ceiling, one wall contains three niches with semicircular Hollywood banquets opposite a gridded industrial window looking onto the outdoor dining courtyard spanned with a 50 foot long banquet seating and terrazzo topped tables.
Custom designed grappa-tasting carts further animate the room. A sliding glass door leads to the private dining room, where the walls feature large-scale, deconstructed vintage Italian liquor posters behind antiqued mirrors. Ground floor restrooms have rich, emerald-painted walls and dark terrazzo, creating immersive, luxurious hideaways. In the restrooms in the restaurant and second floor lounge, replicas of Italian figurative sculptures in irreverent poses further reveal the hotel’s sense of fun and whimsy.
The vintage Italian flair continues on the second floor Moxy Lounge, a hub of activity for the hotel guests. The lounge is a narrative of counterpoints, contrasts, and cultural cues, a distillation of the urban experience bottled in dynamically choreographed space that offers enjoyment, comfort, and flexibility. From the entry vestibule guests ascend a grand concrete staircase, encased in tubular glass, arriving on the second floor to meet, eat, drink, work, lounge, and carouse. The pleasures of home, work, travel, and everything in-between merge into a dynamic social space. To the right, the Winter Garden, which looks out onto the heart of NYC’s Flower District, spans the width of the hotel. It is sandwiched between a live green 20-foot-high wall and partially screened glazing with tinted circular panels that recall the platonic geometries of modernism. The bar is screened from the Winter Garden by a kinetic plane of tilting glass tiles that can change configuration. Grab & Go cabinets at The Pickup, next to the bar, deliver snacks and beverages 24/7.
To the left of the stairs, a lounge area adjacent to the bar is anchored by a 20-foot-long sofa and a family style table. Two studios provide guests with a quiet, private workspace during the day. In the evening, custom tables fold down to create credenzas and plush, modular furniture creates a space for socializing.
Each area of the Moxy Lounge is marked by a variation in terrazzo flooring, ranging from colored slabs of tile, scaled from “The Little Shop of Horrors,” to crisp geometrics in back. The elevator bank marking the front and back of the lounge is wrapped in shelving with a curated display of artwork. What first appear as reproductions of figurines have been transformed into humorous caricatures, almost like a sculptural version of music sampling. A similar approach to disrupting the expected appears in paintings where classical Italian scenes are distorted by a technical glitch. Nothing is as it seems in the modern world!
Moving beyond the elevators guests enter another dynamic area defined by elegant transformability in every aspect. Custom tables and chairs shape shift to accommodate multiple uses throughout the day, from hanging out to meeting, and the space itself can divide with sliding screens to create private rooms. Book-ending the lounge floor is a dining terrace with a pizza oven as the focal point.
The Fleur Room
Guests enter the rooftop bar from the street level through a mysterious and immersive vestibule and staircase are wrapped in gigantic super graphics of botanicals heighted by a black background that appears to float the florals in three dimensions. They ascend to the second floor lounge where elevators whisk them to the intimate indoor and outdoor Fleur Room on the 35th floor. Arriving into an elegant barrel vaulted vestibule wrapped in bronzed plaster, guests can move to indoor space to the south or outdoor space to the north. A dynamic palette of materials mixes rough concrete and industrial fenestration with polished bronze, warm wall coverings, and plush furnishings. Glamour meets grit. Subdued indirect lighting both reinforces the spectacular views and heightens the intimacy. Inverted resin pyramids glow with embedded florals, recalling the surrounding Garden District.
The unique bar appears like a bronze extrusion recalling the chic precision of intimate bars found in Rome or Milan. Opposite the bar is an indoor/outdoor lounge wrapped in kinetic windows that transform the space into a sky veranda at the touch of a button. Doubling as a dance area, the flooring is made from concrete tile in black, white, and green configured as segments of circles, recalling the circular motif used throughout the public spaces. The bathroom ceiling fixture is made from bronze and looks like the plucked daisy in a game of “she-loves-me, she-loves-me-not,” with petals drifting down the walls and settling to create a red resin floor. A second corridor linking the bar and lounge areas is lined with replicas of classical sculptures that double as selfie stations, a sly nod to the “live” corridor of torchieres in Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast.”