Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

By | Architecture, Design

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

American firm Handel Architects have completed a New York hotel with porthole windows that give it an uncanny resemblance to children’s game Connect Four.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Comprising one seven-storey block adjoined to another that is twelve storeys high, the Dream Downtown Hotel occupies a renovated former annex of the National Maritime Union of America.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Overlapping layers of perforated metal clad the smaller of the two blocks, where the circular openings create juliet balconies for the guest rooms behind.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Porthole windows also feature on the taller block, which has a slanted exterior of stainless steel tiles.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

The architects split the building into two during the renovation, when they removed the middle sections from four floors to create a screened pool terrace at the centre.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

The hotel building also contains two restaurants, a gym, an event space and shops.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

See more stories about hotel architecture in our dedicated category.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Photography is by Bruce Damonte, apart from where otherwise stated.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Here’s some more information from Handel Architects:


Dream Downtown Hotel is a 184,000 SF boutique hotel in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The 12-story building includes 316 guestrooms, two restaurants, rooftop and VIP lounges, outdoor pool and pool bar, a gym, event space, and ground floor retail.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Dream sits on a though-block site, fronting both 16th and 17th Streets, and is adjacent to the Maritime Hotel, which sits adjacent to the west. In 1964, the National Maritime Union of America commissioned New Orleans-based architect Albert Ledner to design a new headquarters for the Union, on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

Two years later, he designed an annex for the headquarters on the site where Dream currently sits. A few years later, Mr. Ledner designed a flanking wing for the annex, which would eventually be converted to the Maritime Hotel.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

In the 1970s, the Union collapsed and the buildings were sold and used for various purposes in the years that followed. In 2006, Handel Architects was engaged to convert the main annex into the Dream Downtown Hotel.

Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects

The otherness of Ledner’s 1966 design for the National Maritime Annex was critical to preserve. Along the 17th Street exposure, the sloped façade was clad in stainless steel tiles, which were placed in a running bond pattern like the original mosaic tiles of Ledner’s Union building.

Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

By | Architecture, Design, flagship, Retail Design, Store concept

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Hot on the heels of openings in Singapore and Sydney, Louis Vuitton opens another stellar maison – its division of superflagships – in Rome. Illustriously called Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison, the new store measures a rather grand 1,200 sqm. and is housed in a three-storey landmark building that previously accommodated the historical Spazio Étoile, the city’s very first movie theatre.

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 02 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Peter Marino, the new york-based architect responsible for Louis Vuitton store interiors across the planet, redesigned the buiding’s interior, retaining the visual drama by its impressive staircase winding around a wide open atrium that allows in floods of daylight.

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 03 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Next to the interior, Marino also designed a series of furniture pieces for the store. Similar to other maisons, the Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison features special retail sections and merchandise, such as a bag bar, trunk room and its so-called Haute Maroquinerie line of leather goods. Obviously, the entire range of Louis Vuitton collections for men + women’s presented here. But what makes the roman maison unique is its 19-seat cinema which screens short movies by renowned directors.

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 04 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Handmade cinema is a documentary produced by Luchino Visconti di Modrone and directed by Guido Torlonia, and marks the beginning of a project that emphasizes the history of the building and the new maison’s passion for the craftsmen of cinema. Additionally, there’s a partnership with the city’s prestigious Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia that aims to encourage the development of new film talent. The Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison opened with a massive party that pulled a large crowd of Vuitton dignitaries and glitterati from italy and abroad.

Images copyright by Caterina Di Iorgi & Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 24 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 25 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 36 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome

Louis Vuitton Etoile Maison by Peter Marino Rome 37 Louis Vuitton Étoile Maison by Peter Marino, Rome