Intercontinental Hotel

Intercontinental Hotel

Constrained Courtyard is Larger than Life
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationNew York, New York, USA
ClientTishman Hotel Corp.

Located in the center of the vibrant Times Square district, this new four-star hotel (one of only three in New York City) serves as the base for well-traveled tourists, businessmen and dignitaries from around the world. As a unique product of the hotel’s branding and place-making strategy, the client asked that the courtyard make a memorable first impression on its visitors at check-in and their returns throughout the day. Centrally located at the hotel entrance, the space serves as the lobby’s focal point as well as the backdrop for the two restaurants that flank its sides.

The landscape architect was given full responsibility for the space and conducted market research into the profile of the hotel guests and their expectations, from which the concept of a contemporary Zen-like space evolved; it is one of clean and timeless modernist sensibilities. In line with the designer’s philosophy, the space is designed to offer spiritual and visual refuge and escape from the bustle of the New York City street. The calm is broken only by the provocative sculpture of an aged shrub whose distinctive profile is captured against an illuminated red resin wall. Through careful selection of materials and lighting, the space glows with life throughout the day and night, in dramatic contrast to the darker, somber lobby mood. The fresh garden environment belies its urban constrictions: minimal natural light, access, and structural slabs below.

Despite its challenges and limited scope, the courtyard design has reached for the highest sustainability standards. LED lighting and the recycling of stone and steel materials are but a few examples. In addition, the courtyard has exploited all of the benefits of green roof technology and recycled water for irrigation.

At such a prominent crossroads for world travelers, this small courtyard has risen to its challenge. It has proven once again that the power of design can strongly influence the branding of a place, and has left a large first impression of landscape architecture in the urban hospitality world.

Related Projects

Lite-On Headquarters

This major Taiwanese electronics company chose the “Electronics Center” of Taipei overlooking the Gee Long River for their new headquarters. The overall concept is of a 25-story slender tower rising above a sloped landscape podium that covers much of the site. Below-grade parking slopes toward the river on one side, with the urban center on the oth...

Stanford University Campus Planning and Projects

Over the past 20 plus years SWA has been working with Stanford University to reclaim the 100-year-old master plan vision of Leland Stanford and Frederick Law Olmsted for the campus. This series of campus improvement projects has restored the historic axis, open spaces, and landscape patterns. With Stanford Management Company, SWA designed the Sand Hill corrido...

Suzhou Center

The Suzhou Center is a landmark urban space within the Suzhou Central Business District that embodies the spirit of the city of Suzhou as a gateway for intersecting old and new cultural and historic heritage. The successful combination of high density development and ecological conservation will allow for Suzhou to transition to a garden city where the state-o...

Lanchi Aqua Garden Hotel

Thomas Balsley Associates was invited to design one of six hotel villa sites near the ancient city of Xi’an. Collaborating with Joel Sanders Architect, the design draws inspiration from the lifestyle and design principles of traditional Chinese gardens. Like these ancient private retreats, this hotel site is also organized around a series of landscaped courtya...

Burj Khalifa

Playing on the theme of “A Tower in a Park,” this shaded landscape creates a compelling oasis of green, with distinct areas to serve the tower’s hotel, residential, spa and corporate office areas. The visitor begins at the main arrival court at the base of the tower, where the “prow” of the building intersects a grand circular court—a “water room” defined by f...

San Jacinto Plaza

The redesign of San Jacinto Plaza, a historic gathering place in El Paso’s downtown business district provides a state-of-the-art urban open space, while protecting and celebrating the history and culture of the site. The project was the result of an intensive community process involving input from a wide range of constituents. Active programming, environmenta...

Gotham West

Gotham West is a residential development west of Times Square that nearly encompasses a full city block. Two mid-rise buildings and a market-rate tower form to create a signature courtyard that is accessed from the tower’s lobby. A sculptural Japanese maple, floating within a reflecting pool, is centered with the lobby entrance, and serves as a focal feature. ...

Heritage Field at Macombs Dam Park

The Macombs Dam park ensemble consists of a variety of lush, contemporary green spaces in which the community can relax, socialize, and play.  One segment of the landscape is a 13 acre park on the roof of the stadium parking structure, the largest full-service rooftop park every built by the City; another segment is an at-grade park where the now demolished Ya...

2020-01-10T00:47:28+00:00