The $68 million Cooper Square Hotel is part of the vanguard of sleek contemporary structures standing in mark contrast to the low-rise tenements that have characterized Manhattan’s Cooper Square since the 1850’s.

Cooper Square Hotel- New York, N.Y.

But whereas the other new buildings stand apart from the surrounding tenements, Cooper Square Hotel incorporates one of the red-brick buildings into the structure. This interesting integration of the old and the new was not by choice, but in the end added to the overall design.

Original plans for the hotel called for the demolition of three brick tenements occupying the building site. But two tenants in the five-story building on the southwest corner of the property refused to move.

The developers resolved the dispute with an innovative solution. Instead of knocking down the building, they asked the project’s New York-based architect, Carlos Zapata Studio (CZS), to redesign the hotel with the tenement merged into the structure.

Under the new scheme the 21-story, 146-room Hotel integrates the tenement into the tower’s base, utilizing the first two floors of the brick building as the hotel’s library and office. Incorporating the tenement into the new structure created some challenges. “We built around it, in it, over it and under it,” says Robert Harding, vice president of operations for New York based-F.J. Sciame Construction. The two artists occupy the third and fourth floor apartments.

The geometrically complex tower of the 58,000-sq-ft structure gracefully slopes away from the street in a continuous fashion as it rises, instead of using setbacks to satisfy zoning requirements, according to Anthony Montalto, CZS principal.

On the structure’s north side, the tenement and a five-story building are separated from the tower by a main staircase. The low-rise structure houses a bar, a screening room and hotel rooms.

The façade is clad in a custom glass and aluminum curtainwall. The design employs a frit pattern composed of graduated white ceramic dots at the top of the window panels. White anodized aluminum panels with varying perforations were used as ornamentation. “All the facets and articulation of the façade were done in a way to accentuate the verticality of the building,” Montalto says.

The hotel, completed in April 2009, features contemporary European interiors by Italian designer Antonio Citterio. Amenities include an intimate library, a private garden, two bars and a restaurant.

Key Players

Owner: Peck Moss Hotel Group New York, N.Y.
Design Architect: Carlos Zapata Studio New York, N.Y.
Architect Of Record: Perkins Eastman New York, N.Y.
Interior Design:Antonio Citterio And Partners, Milano, Italy and Wood + Zapata Architecture, New York
Construction Manager: F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc. New York, N.Y.
Structural Engineer: Leslie E. Robertson Associates New York, N.Y.
Mechanical Engineer: Ambrosino Depinto & Schmeider New York, N.Y.
Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering And Environmental Serivices, New York
Lighting Consultant: Focus Lighting, New York
Acoustics Consultant: Shen Milsom & Wilke, New York
Curtain Wall Consultant: Front Inc. New York, N.Y.
Curtain Wall Erector: Tower Installation, Llc Windsor, Ct
Structural Steel Fabricator And Erector: Post Road Iron Works Greenwich, Ct
Miscellaneous Iron Fabricator And Erector: United Iron, Inc. Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
Architectural Metal Fabricators: Gartner Stamford, Ct; General Glass Secaucus, NJ
Architectural Metal Erectors: Tower Installation Windsor, Ct; General Glass Secaucus, Nj
Ornamental Metal Fabricator And Erector: United Iron, Inc. Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
Surveyor: Fehringer Surveying, P.C., Rockville Centre, N.Y.