Martin Brudnizki converts New York office building to create Beekman Hotel

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Martin Brudnizki converts New York office building into eclectic Beekman Hotel

In this movie, interior designer Martin Brudnizki explains how he used vintage furniture and fabrics to create a homely atmosphere in New York's Beekman Hotel, which is shortlisted in two categories at the upcoming AHEAD Americas awards.

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

The Beekman Hotel is a conversion of a 19th-century office building in New York. It opened last year in the Financial District in Manhattan.

The hotel is shortlisted in the Bar, Club or Lounge and Lobby and Public Spaces categories at the inaugural AHEAD Americas hospitality awards, which take place in Miami next week.

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

"The building was originally built as law offices in 1881, and it is an incredibly beautiful building," explains Brudnizki in the movie, which Dezeen filmed in London for AHEAD.

"The design team's approach from the beginning was to respect that, almost like a conversation that we had with the building throughout the project."

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

One of the original building's defining features is a huge, nine-story atrium, topped with a pyramid-shaped skylight, which Brudnizki converted into a combined lobby, lounge and bar.

"The great feature of the Beekman Hotel is, of course, its atrium," Brudnizki says. "But the challenge was how to make this feel cosy."

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

Brudnizki used varying shades of green on the walls "to close the space in a little bit" and filled the atrium space with an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, cushions and rugs from the 1940s to the 1970s.

"The whole idea of that lobby is that it is very residential," he explains. "It should look almost natural in a sense, that it has evolved over time and things have been replaced and added to it."

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

The hotel also features a restaurant on the ground floor, run by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.

Brudnizki says he wanted to create a simpler, more pared-back aesthetic for the restaurant, but one that people would still feel relaxed in.

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

"I think the most important thing is that people feel comfortable," he explains.

"And comfortability is ergonomic – when you sit in a chair – but it is all the other senses as well. I wanted it to be a very immersive experience."

Martin Brudnizki's AHEAD nominated design for the Beekman Hotel in New York

This movie was filmed by Dezeen for AHEAD in London. All photography is courtesy of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio.