Arguably, the opening of the Public Hotel in New York City was the most exciting hotel debut last year. Designed by Basel-based star architects Herzog & de Meuron, the high-rise is located right next to the New Museum in the flourishing west of the Upper East Side. The concept for the luxury establishment by Ian Schrager, founder of the legendary “Studio 54,” forgoes nouveau-riche pomp or showy materials, relying instead on design that is both ambitious and functional. Herzog & de Meuron followed suit for the entire interior. For the bathrooms they designed gently curving washstands, which speak an impressively trenchant formal language.
For the realization of the design, a cooperation partner came into play who has collaborated with the Basel architects on several previous occasions, namely ceramic specialist Laufen. The company is based in the locality of the same name in the canton of Basel. In addition to making high-quality series products in the area of bathroom ceramics, Laufen is also one of the world’s leading bathroom outfitters, with proven expertise in the bespoke sector. Customized solutions can be jointly developed and realized together with the client, architects and designers.
For the Public Hotel, Laufen created customized washstands made from the mineral cast material Sentec 370 for the rooms and six freestanding publicly accessible washstands, which were designed by the Swiss architects. In addition, the hotel was equipped with 577 “Palomba” WCs, a classic product from the Laufen range. Ian Schrager’s efforts in creating such an ambitious design and service concept have proven a huge success. Virtually overnight, the Public Hotel has become the new playground for the New York scene. Moreover, a focus on the essentials in the furnishings has had another pleasant side-effect: An overnight stay in the designer rooms of this hotel costs much less than in conventional luxury hotels. (fap)