Aman New York – Designing An Icon

Aman New York is the culmination of a monumental transformation that has seen Manhattan’s landmark Crown Building become a new design icon in the realm of luxury hospitality. The most recent in a long line of collaborations between the Aman brand and Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston Architects, the 83-suite hotel and its 22 branded residences bring the peace promised by Aman’s Sanskrit- derived name and the palpable tranquility of its Asian roots to one of the Western world’s most vibrant cities.

A feat of design engineering, this transformation required the balancing and subtle juxtaposition of many contrasts – old and new, East and West, natural and manmade, and even fire and water – to create what is seemingly a paradox: an urban sanctuary.

Yet this is the true essence of Aman New York: From the moment of arrival – be it in the breathtaking, double-height atrium on the 14th floor or the entrance on 57th Street – every detail of the design effortlessly contributesto Aman New York’s aura of rarefied calm.

Aman New York is the culmination of a monumental transformation that has seen Manhattan’s landmark Crown Building become a new design icon in the realm of luxury hospitality. 

Organic materials and motifs are integrated throughout Aman New York, imbuing spaces with the meditative beauty and inimitable tranquility of nature. Oak, walnut, and aromatic cinnamon woods add lustre to finishes, floors, doors, and custom furnishings. Bronze, brass, and stainless and blackened steel contribute gleaming warmth and edgy allure.

Belgian Blue and Chocolate Brown marble complement the masculine architectural palette – the yang to the more feminine yin hues introduced through soft furnishings, rugs and artworks.

Natural stone – textured rather than polished – and wooden floors form a weaving pattern reminiscent of rattan baskets used across Asia, and straw marquetry, an ancient Asian technique, burnishes fireplace mantels. Walls are dressed in natural fabrics and flower arrangements inspired by Japan’s classical Ikebana artform literally bring nature inside.

Respecting the Crown Building’s storied heritage was key to the design process from the very outset. Embodying the splendour of America’s Gilded Age, the building was designed by Warren & Wetmore, the influential architects of Grand Central Station and the Helmsley Building. Built in 1921 on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, its Neo-Classical exterior, French Renaissance detailing and chateau-esque tower make it one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in North America today.

The first home of the Museum of Modern Art from 1929 to 1932, the building’s crown-like finial became its eponymous feature in 1983, when lighting designer Douglas Leigh was commissioned to gild and illuminate the ornamental spire using 30 gallons of liquid gold.

All this history was sensitively considered as Aman and Denniston undertook the building’s restoration and epic conversion. Using a period approach, the building’s palatial proportions were retained via spectacular double volume public areas, but with Denniston’s trademark creation of spaces within spaces to create intimacy despite the grandeur.

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