Thursday, February 5, 2009

hospitality buildings



ds Of The World
by Elena Kornbluth - 01/01/2009 
As a boy growing up in New York, Randy Gerner listened enthralled as his grandfat

her told 

tales of Istanbul, where he was stationed during the First World Wa

r. "He'd talk about the sultan. . .and his

 wives. . .

and his huge palace," Gerner remembers. In school, the budding architect learned about Justinian building Hagia Sophia: t

he enormo


 dome, the legendary column with the hole in it


As a boy growing up in New York, Randy Gerner listened enthralle

d as his grandfather told tales of Istanbul, where he was stationed 

during the First World War. "He'd talk about the sultan. . .and his wives. . .and his huge palace," Gerner remembers. In school, the budding architect learned about Ju

stinian building Hagia Sophia: the enormous dome, the legendary column with the hole in it. "You put your thumb in the hole and rotate your hand 360 degrees, and it bri

ngs you good luck," Gerner says. "I almost always make a pilgrimage when I'm in Istanbul, and I think to myself, How ma

ny hundreds of thousands if not millions of people have done this? Walking into a building that's pretty much the same as it was 1,400 years ago—that sends chills up and down

 my spine."

The spine of a full-grown man can have some serious kinks in it after the night flight to Istanbul, 


 trip that Gerner has been making every few months since Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects, became the favorite firm of the Dogus Group, the Turkish conglomerate behind not only Garanti B

ank but also franchises of Gucci and Emporio Armani and dealership

s for cars from Skoda to Lamborg

hini. "After 10 hours on the plane, I go to the hotel, sit in a hot bath, and meditate to prepare myself for my first meeting," he says. That routine floated immediately to mind when Dogus asked him to design a small, luxurious "spa hotel" at th

e Maçka P

alas, a 1922 apartmen

t building surrounded by the designer boutiques and chic cafés of the Nisantasi district. What, he wondered, could make a traveler's bathing experience even more satisfying? His answer: Color-therapy lighting—now on tap in the no-h

olds-barred w

et-rooms of his Pa

rk Hyatt Istanbul–Maçka Palas.

A de facto residence for the Italian embassy, across the street, before Atatürk moved the capital to Ankara, the Maçka Palas was already extremel

y familiar to Gerner. He'd restored its Italianate facade and gu

tted the 105,600-square-foot interior in 1996, so Dogus could move the headquarters of its Körfezbank there. Then the merger of this small bank with Garanti Bank left the grand landmark vacant.

Directly behind, on a side street, was a two-story structur


 that G

erner had built for Dogus as a car showroom. His brain wave for Park Hyatt was to make this ancillary building the front door—completely redefining the project. "The entrance is not in the historic building, where you might expect it to be," he explains. "The hotel was meant to be d


 not a destination piece of architecture." Indeed, the entry's low facade of limestone, fritted glass, and stainless steel couldn't possibly be more different from the many-columned Ottoman splendor of Istanbul's longest-reigning

 luxury ho

tel, the 19th-century Çiragan Palace 


When the translucent doors of the Park Hyatt's vestibule slide back to reveal a skylit lobby, it's clear that Gerner wasn't going for the disco-har

em vibe of the new W Istanbul either. "East meeting West and yesterd

ay meeting today, those were our themes," he says, pointing 

out the elevator tower straight ahead. It's completely tiled in beige and white squares that form a floral supergraphic abstracted from traditional Iznik ceramics.

Directly a

bove the

 lobby is a wine-dark steak house named the Prime. Every other trendy restaurant in Istan

bul may be a faux bistro, but this one serves up healthy portions of Americana. Even the ceiling is bead-board, possibly never seen in Turkey before. Along a wall, individual magnums are displayed in boxes with glass fronts t

hat slide out for presentati

on. Opposite, small hurricane lamps

 glow in the openings of high dividers between booths. "There's this desire in Istanbul to be public but private," Gerner says. "You see which member of parliament is sitting there, but you can walk by and pretend you did

n't." Because Turks would rather eat outside when they can, the Prime opens to th

e sm

aller building's roof terrace, complete with a lap pool fit for a pasha.

Bathing, Eastern and Western, likewise dominates the main building's 85 standard rooms and five 

penthouse suites. Besides Gerner's meditation-enhancing color therapy, the bathrooms offer soaking tubs, rain showers, steam

 baths, and "hammam corners" with built-in basins 

and heated stools in gray-veined w

hite marble. "Most Americans are nervous about going to a hammam, because we don't know culturally how to deal with it," he says. "If you have one in your own room, you c

an experience it in the privacy you're used to." He enclosed 

almost all the wet-rooms in channel glass, so they're the first thin

g guests notice when they arrive.

They step back into the past when 

they continue through an archway, into the sleeping area. Here, Gerner installed salvaged 

hickory floorboards, applied tinted, textured plaster to the walls, restored ceiling moldings, and hung chandeliers based o

n a 19th-century gas fixture found in a bazaar in the Old City. Atmos

pheric 1950's photographs show the Golden Horn, the Asian shoreline, or the minarets of the Süley

maniye Mosque—all of which might be on a Park Hyatt guest's 

tourist agenda. After a long soak in the tub.

Project Team Bryan Bennett (Project Interior Designer); Beril D

emircioglu (Project Ar

chitect); Riana Pizzi: Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects. Bodart: Architect of Record. Özer Ali 

Önkal: Field Architect. Johnson Light S

tudio: Lighting Consultant. Trafo-Mimarlar: Landscaping Consultant. Altinsoy

: Structural Engineer. Genel Mühendislik: Mechanical Engineer. As Mobilya Dekorasy

on; Elegan Group:

 Woodwork, Custom Furniture. Aykar Teknoloji: Electrical Contrac

tor. Landscaping Contractor: Cembotanik. General Contractor: Tekin Insaat. Product Sources from front through Garden Life: Furnit

ure (Terraces). Erco: Recessed Ceiling Fixtures (Spa, Lounge, Wine Ba

r). Koyunlu: Custom Carpet (Lobby, Lounge). Fersa Aydinlatma: Recessed 

Ceiling, Floor Fixtures, Track Lighting (Lobby), Stair Lights, Chandeliers, Lamps (Lounge), Lamps (Guest Room), Sconces (Guest Rooms, Suite), Pendant Fixtur

e (S

uite), Lamps (Spa). Novum Structures: Custom Skylight (Lobby), C

ustom Canopy (Main Terrace). Duravit: Tub (Bathroom). Dornbracht: Tub Fittings. Glashütte Lamberts Waldsassen: Partition 

Panels. Sabco: Floor Tile. MDC Wallcoverings: Wall Covering (Suite)

. Ebony and Co: Flooring. Terzani: Globe Fixtures (Main Terrace). 

Through Depe: Awning Fabric. Throughout Granit Center: Stone Supplier.


project Edelman, Los Angeles.

standout Color-splashed white walls, a single crystal chandelier, and wall texts of inspirational lang

uage drawn from this PR firm's mission statement create an unconvention

al corporate setting.

m moser associate


project Ogilvy & Mather, Guangzhou, China.

standout At the heart of this 10,000-square-foot space, a tilted staircase with a red laminated-glass balustrade connects marketin

g on the ground floor to creative staff above.

studios architecture

project Liquidnet, New York.

standout The architects utilized open space and transparentmaterials, including the stairwell's enclosure of yellow-glass panels, to express the client's collaborative identity.

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