Refinery hotel is an adaptive reuse of what was originally a 12-story millinery factory building, whose street level storefronts were occupied by a chic hat retailer and tea salon; while arduous millinery work occurred in the upper floors. The architecture and design team at Stonehill & Taylor embraced this duality as a source of aesthetic tension.
The existing facades are of an ornate, neo-Gothic style. S&T took inspiration from these decorative elements and reinterpreted them on the interiors. The entry features an arcade-like hallway with white plaster groin-vaulted ceilings and a custom carpet runner that leads guests to reception. Adjoining the lobby stands Winnie’s, a bar whose walnut paneling and subdued lighting evoke the feeling of an early 20th century tea salon. Details include period appropriate glass roundel screens, which allow partial visual and audible connection to the lobby, while keeping both areas intimate.
The lobby’s polished and sophisticated design is contrasted with the guestrooms’ warmly raw aesthetic. Evoking an artist’s loft, guestrooms have soaring exposed concrete ceilings, distressed hardwood floors and custom area rugs; large canvas artworks lean against brick while other artwork is painted directly on the walls. The custom designed furniture is articulated by details like desks inspired by Singer sewing machines, coffee tables recalling old factory carts and floor lamps resembling fashion photographers’ lights.
The expansive rooftop bar was built as a completely new level but made to look like a seamless extension of the building, via vintage details like brick walls and reclaimed terracotta floor tiles. The huge retractable skylight allows the rooftop to be used year-round, while maintaining the sweeping views of the Empire State Building. The indoor lounge is paneled with wood repurposed from the dismantled water tanks that previously sat on top of the building.