By : Rockwell Group
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Interior Design : Grand Winner
Categories : Other categories in interior design / Unclassified Category in Interior Design : Gold Certification
CIVILIAN is a 27-story hotel between 8th and 9th Avenues where artists and audiences converge. In a city with overlapping creative communities, CIVILIAN New York launches in the heart of the
Theater District. It’s a new home and ad hoc clubhouse to serve the needs of New York’s creative corps of performers, designers, directors, producers, and writers. It’s also a place where outsiders in the know can rub shoulders with those who inspire them and immerse themselves in Broadway and all of its micro-worlds. The hotel is a natural extension of David Rockwell’s decades of work designing sets for Broadway and theaters.
Rockwell Group wanted to create a space where creative insiders and visitors can gather, collaborate, and unwind. We were inspired by all of the spaces where “theater people” hang out, present and past, from Edison Café on Broadway, to the famed Stage Door Canteen— spaces where there is an unspoken invitation to come at all hours to read a script, relax before an audition, or meet a friend. CIVILIAN quotes from the look and feel of old theaters, with marquee-inspired lighting, dramatic curtains, transformative set and stage-like elements, dressing room- the inspired guestrooms, and the raw industrial materials of backstage life. The FF&E is rich with wood, brass, cement tiles, metal and glass partitions, and jewel-toned upholstery.
CIVILIAN features the Olio Collection, the first-of-its kind curated art program with permanent and rotating works by emerging and established theater creatives and contemporary Broadway photographers. Sketches, models, still photos, and custom furnishings celebrate the theatrical art form throughout the public spaces and guestrooms.
Guests enter the hotel through what feels like a discreet side stage door side door into a runway-like vestibule with an abstract interpretation of marquee lighting in the ceiling. Two layers of mirrors with marquee lights at the end of the hallway give the space an infinity-room feel. Digital check-in is located in a draped wall, with theater-inspired seating. An open metal “back of house” stair leads to the second-floor bar/lounge and library.
A modern interpretation of a classic Theater District gathering place, the restaurant has a curved, ribbed leather ceiling with mirror panels punctuated by red leather banquettes and brass and glazed subway tile accents. The bright dining room features round sconces engraved with theater façade sketches by prominent set designers, including Tony Walton, Es Devlin, Clint Ramos, Anna Louizos, and Mimi Lien.
An outdoor lounge serves as a seasonal extension of the restaurant, designed as a hidden urban garden with terracotta tiles and rattan furniture.
The hotel’s main bar and lounge, this raw space feels like a theater’s back of house, with reclaimed brick and adjustable stage lighting. The FF&E has a patina that makes it feel comfortable and worn, such as aged leather furniture and an aged stone bar top with a concrete bar die. Permanent and rotating exhibits feature original artwork, scenic design models, vintage posters, and other theater related ephemera.
A second, more intimate lounge provides guests with a private haven from the bustling restaurant and bar. Known as the Blue Room, the space has a speakeasy feel with royal blue paneling and plush velvet banquettes surrounded by custom vitrines housing a sprawling and diverse range of one-of-a-kind theater props and costume pieces.
Located on the roof of CIVILIAN, Starchild offers an elevated lounge experience with uninterrupted views of the city skyline and Hudson River. Celebrating the energy of the surrounding Theater District, Rockwell Group’s design is inspired by Broadway’s by-gone rooftops and New York City nightlife.
Every guestroom entrance feels like the entrance to a private box in a theater. A ribbed glass transom above each door carries daylight into the hallway. Hallways and elevators feature custom Maya Romanoff wallcoverings with abstractions of drawings by costume designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo and William Ivey Long. Framed photographs sourced from archives and contemporary theatrical photographers showcase the history of Broadway onstage and off.
Intimate guestrooms in shades of either blue or bordeaux have an old-school dressing room feel. Platform four-poster beds have drapery panels and feature Jim Thompson pillows with abstracted patterns by costume designers. Beds are adjacent to windows and have built-in storage underneath and a built-in upholstered seat. A costume trunk-inspired closet sits opposite a statement tri-fold mirror. Vintage details, such as brass toggle switches and a custom “do not disturb” door sign round out the feeling of having stepped back in time.