North America’s tallest hotel tower has opened in midtown Manhattan, offering guests sweeping views of the Big Apple.
Located at 1717 Broadway and West 54th Street, The Marriott hotel building rises 229 metres and has become North America's tallest building of its kind, wresting the title from Detroit’s Marriott at the Renaissance Centre, which stands at 221 metres according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
The dual branded hotel features a 378-room Courtyard by Marriott Central Park from floors six to 33, while 261 rooms Residence Inn by Marriott Central Park occupy floors 37 to 65. Each “hotel” was built to serve different resident types: “selected service and extended stay.”
The project cost an estimated US$320 million with each room of the 68-storey building featuring floor to ceiling windows. The priciest rooms offer breathtaking views of Central Park, the Hudson river and Times Square.
The Marriott has been recognised as a slender building, the newest trend for skyscrapers, particularly in dense cities where land is scarce. The pencil-thin building trend has taken root in New York, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Slender skyscraper designs have been especially popular in the boutique residential market where despite land scarcity, luxury living and premium views are in demand.
The new building was developed by New York architecture firm Nobutaka Ashihara Associates, who said the building site was a mere 10,000 square feet. The structure was proportioned and shaped to allow maximum sunlight to reach Broadway and 54th Street, which faces the project site.
“The total total building area of 370,000 square foot became possible by importing air right from adjacent sites and theatre sites located several blocks away,” the firm explained on its website.
The hotel also features public facilities including a bar, lounge, restaurant, gym and 6,000 square feet of meeting space. According to the architects, there is also an additional 23,000 square feet of retail area/possible restaurant occupancy.
Advancements in high-strength concrete technology, damping devices to reduce sway and engineered floor-plates allow “skinny” skyscrapers to rise at a rapid rate.
In Lower Manhattan, the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New York Downtown by Robert A.M Stern Architects is currently under construction and is slated to rise 285 metres.
While it may be 56 metres taller than the Marriott upon its scheduled completion in 2016, it may not be recognised as North America’s tallest hotel, as it will be a mixed use residential and hotel building.
The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta is reported to be contesting the new Marriott's height claims. While the CTBUH has listed the building as 723 feet (220 metres), architects John Portman and Associates state its height is 754 feet (230 metres), which would barely top the Marriott.
Currently, the tallest hotel building in the world is the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai. That hotel is made up of two 355 metre tall towers. According to the CTBUH, the six tallest hotel buildings in the world remain in Dubai, with New York's Marriott settling into 14th place on the list of the world's tallest hotel buildings. Above it are a variety of hotel projects in Dubai, Thailand and China.