March 8, 2010

David Rockwell’s Andaz Rocks Wall Street

David Rockwell has become a familiar figure in Hollywood for his classic sets for the Oscars, and on the Great White Way for “Hairspray.” But Wall Street? Well, it looks like the buttoned-down denizens of New York’s Financial District better get used to more glamour, now that the Interior Design Hall of Famer—whose iconic projects range from the original Nobu to Pittsburgh Steelers Stadium—has added Andaz Wall Street to his resume.

Named after the Hindi word for personal style, the Wall Street location of Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s latest brand follows outposts in London and West Hollywood, and sets the stage for a Fifth Avenue location that’s slated to open later this year. When it opened last month, it became the only hotel on historic Wall Street, while its Bar Seven Five and Wall & Water restaurant soon became the go-to after-work spot for the area’s many moneyed workers.

Rockwell‘s trademark theatricality begins at the entrance to the 13-floor hotel, where a striking staircase of sculptural pearlescent steel and stone rises to the bar. Drawing upon the dueling milieus of smart cocktail parties and 19th-century Pullman railcar bars, Bar Seven Five contains a series of nearly indistinguishable jet-black molded fiberglass bars and tables that sit beneath teardrop-shaped pendants, where an endless parade of bartenders, servers and guests rotate.

Another stunning staircase of steel and stone leads to Wall and Water, a restaurant rife with materials as earthy as its Hudson Valley-sourced ingredients. Gray and alabaster marble floors turn into an attention-grabbing central food bar, which greets visitors before making way for the end-grain bamboo, cerused oak, and hand-blown glass that populates dining areas on either side. Perhaps the most remarkable elements are the dining tables, all cut from the same guanacaste tree, so that grain patterns align from table to table.

An elevator ride away, the hotel’s 253 guestrooms start at 345 square feet, palatial by New York standards. They boast luxurious combinations of dark-stained oak floors, buttery-brown leather benches and headboards, and black marble bathrooms with rain showers and soaking tubs.

Images courtesy of Andaz Wall Street.

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