Design Research Studio created the interiors for the hotel which hails from New York. With 359 bedrooms, two bars, one restaurant, a spa and a cinema this is Design Research Studio's biggest project to date and allowed the studio to explore a wide range of environments, Tom explains:
'For us a Hotel is a dream job – it allows to work in so many different typologies – Spas and Bars, restaurants and bedrooms, conference rooms and corridors. The idea that we can create a complete universe that people can live in for a night or a week, what’s not to like?'
The building itself was designed by American architect Warren Platner in the 1970s. Originally designed as a luxury hotel, the building's brief was never fulfilled and it instead was occupied as office. Among these was a shipping company ‘Sea Container’ from which the building now draws its name. This maritime history and the Anglo-American relationship between Design Research Studio and Morgans Hotel Group, form the design inspiration for the project. Drawing on the theme of a transatlantic cruise liner for inspiration, Tom touched on the inspiration behind the hotel:
'We thought that the transatlantic liners of the golden period of cruisers was a fitting departure point, we wanted the rooms to have a feeling of a cabin, with everything fitted, compact and properly thought through. We made a massive intervention to the arrival sequence with a massive structure inspired by a ship’s hull piercing through from the outside canopy into the lobby and right through past the elevators into the restaurant, all clad with copper.'