A Manhattan hotel uses color to create an immersive experience that brings together art, architecture, and interior design.
The architects of In Situ Design shared studio space with artist William Engel long before they considered collaborating with him on a project. But an opportunity arose in the form of The William, a 33-room extended-stay boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan. While wall art is usually an afterthought in hotel design, here it provided the underlying theme of the project. “The art both inspired the design and was influenced by it,” says Edwin Zawadzki, a founding partner of In Situ. As in Engel’s pour paintings, the colors at The William seem to spill from the canvas and fill the hotel rooms, reverberating in the furniture and textiles as well as in more unexpected places, such as cabinet interiors. And while Zawadzki cites Philippe Starck’s bold design for the Royalton hotel as an influence, The William explores neutrals as well as vivid colors, offering palate cleansers in the hallways and stairwells. “There was no program in terms of ‘We want people to come to the green room and feel relaxed,’” says Zawadzki, who collaborated on the project with interior designer Lilian Bakhash. “It was about creating a color experience in the broadest sense possible.”