The newly-renovated Novotel New York, which opened its doors in September, is a showcase of narrative design at its finest. From the moment guests walk through the entrance on 52nd street and Broadway until they finally shut the curtains at night, they are surrounded by the spirit
of Times Square and the New Year's Eve
traditions that help make it so iconic.
"The futuristic new design is inspired by celebration of renewal—a reference to Times Square's pop-culture significance as the host of New Year's Eve activities—incorporating architecture, video, and light effects to
create an immersive experience for the visitor," says Stonehill & Taylor Principal and VP of Interior Design Michael Suomi.
Entering the 26-story building, guests
experience the first of many interactive light-art installations as hexagonal LED panels on the walls and ceiling pulse with light and color, simulating the experience of walking through the inside of the Times Square ball.
A quick elevator trip up to the 7th floor reception area, and suddenly the ball shatters in an otherworldy series of lines and facets, which flood the space with a purple glow and draw guests out into the open-plan lobby, bar and restaurant areas.
Large columns in the space feature floor-to-ceiling video art pieces inspired by New Years Eve rituals from around the world and throughout history. With a straight-line view from the restaurant right to the heart of Times Square and the ball perched overhead, custom lighting designed by Stonehill & Taylor and produced by Alger Triton mimic the view of New Year's Eve fireworks displays.
The project was also an example of how to break the corporate mold and create something fit for the environment at hand. Stonehill & Taylor renovated all 480 rooms in the hotel by modifying Novotel's "Next Room" design to meet the needs of the American market. Changes include ergonomic desks and chairs, higher-end custom artwork, real wood veneers and plusher carpets.
The story of new beginnings continues in these spaces as well, with custom "firework" graphics on headboards, window treatments and decorative pillows.