Amtrak Hotel Tower
Project : Amtrak Hotel Tower
Location : Manhattan
Firm : George Ranalli Architect
Associates: Silman Engineers Langan Engineering
Nearly thirty million passengers every year travel on Amtrak commuter rails. Established by the United States Congress in 1970, Amtrak is a nationwide high speed, intercity, passenger-rail service which traverses over 500 destinations – 46 in the United States and three Canadian provinces. In 2005, Amtrak commissioned George Ranalli Architect to help develop of the site of an old power plant – mid-block on 31st Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues – among a row of 19th Century loft structures. The Amtrak Hotel Tower project proposes the renovation of the existing building adapted for reuse as the new northeast headquarters – featuring custom workspaces, and state-of-the-art communication systems and imaging technology – and a new 16-story boutique hotel.
Amtrak Hotel Tower interior architecture fashions a new central entrance and café, below a contemporary pedestrian bridge, connecting the new lobby space to the interior of the existing building. Architecture transforms the core space inside the old power plant – used as the coal hopper – into a dramatic triple-level symposium facility. The space features a 300-seat auditorium, large seminar and banquet spaces, and quiet offices, ringed by a striking pedestrian bridge.
A small yard alongside the eastern end of the site offered enough of a geometric fluke to design a new 16-story boutique hotel tower. The facade is an active composition of horizontal casting stone and wood frame windows. Advantageous 1,800 square foot floor plates delineate hotel space filled with natural sunlight. The tower design also features two distinctive conical, copper-clad rooftop dining and event spaces; each pod is positioned toward the dramatic vistas of the downtown Manhattan skyline.