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Philip Koether Architects

315 West 39th Street

Studio 906

New York  NY 10018

T: 212 737 7109

F: 212 737 7250



basque dinner


Big TV, Bigger Plaza Getting Ready at Eventi

Out on the plaza the pavers are laid and trees are in, lining a pedestrian avenue leading north to 30 Street. On the southern side, what looks to be a low stage of a fountain is nearly ready to ripple. Everything outside is sleek and understated, until the Kimpton Hotels crew switches on the "20-foot-wide multi-media art screen" and the plaza goes from sedate to pixel overloaded. Whether the screen is on or off, this outdoor rumpus room looks to offer a a big change of pace from the canyon of condos to the east along Sixth Avenue, and the bustling crowds of Herald Square a few blocks north.



FoodParc & Bar Basque

by Philip Koether Architects on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 5:02pm


In the Fall of 2006, noted architect Philip Koether had a visionary idea for an interior design partner for a new restaurant concept — award-winning Visual Futurist Syd Mead.  Koether had long been a collector of artifacts from Mead’s revolutionary work Blade Runner.  Even though Mead had not designed a fully commercial interior space, Koether was convinced that he could translate Mead’s ideas into a workable restaurant space.  Although they had never met, Koether approached Mead at an awards ceremony where Mead was receiving a Special Jury Award from the Cooper-Hewitt/National Design Museum/Smithsonian Institution.  The two hit it off immediately, and Mead’s initial sketches of design concept had the exact dramatic flare that Koether desired.  Over the next several months, and years, it was Koether’s challenge to take Mead’s ideas, refine them, and make them plausible.  The result is a spectacular, cutting-edge design space that pleases them both.  

Commenting on the partnership, Syd Mead says, “A critical element in the progression from concept sketch to finished installation was the interpretation of my drawings into construction documents.  Without Philip Koether’s precise translation of concept drawing to finished documents, my design ideas would never have come to realization.  The team provided me with a coherent, constant update on progress as they worked at times under duress due both to budgetary and time constraint issues.”

Philip Koether agrees, “Partnering with Syd was literally a dream come true, especially after years collecting his work.  The process of translating his vision into reality was wonderful.  As an Art Director both in Hollywood and Detroit, Syd was very adept at making adjustments quickly and with an eye towards the project’s budget.” 



The concept for FOODPARC was to create a visually serene ambience in which food could be featured and enjoyed. This was achieved by specifying a soft, off-white color scheme as a foil that provided background for the food displays and the constant color accents of patrons.  Dark faux ‘electronic’ strips at the column shroud-peaks paid homage to the building’s elaborate electrical infrastructure and the metallic surfaces brought the outside light spectrum into the space.  In turn, the layout suggests an interior urban street linking one of New York’s busiest avenues to the new plaza and park beyond, as referenced in the name, FOODPARC.

At the plaza (west) end of FOODPARC is a stepped area offering sit-down convenience. In pleasant weather, food items purchased in FOODPARC can also be carried out to the plaza area. The BISTRO is both a stylistic and physical bridge between FOODPARC and BAR BASQUE on the second level. Each seating step has its unique shade, which graduates from the light palette of FOODPARC to the intense red and black of BAR BASQUE as each step rises toward a staircase at the top level.

BAR BASQUE features the robust palette of the Basque region with a strong color scheme of red and black with metallic accents.  The brilliant color red preserves its chroma even as it shades darker producing an optical impression of consistent coloration. Black retains the contrast with red at all light levels so the graphical arrangement remains thematically consistent.  Metallic accents produce specular reflection to activate the visual perspective.  The glowing glass panels that backdrop the bar in the lounge area shift through a pattern sequence that evolves from branches to full leafy silhouette, referencing both the ‘park’ theme at plaza level and the famous ‘Bilbao Tree’ of the Basque region.


It’s the place to Bea

Rent above a hotel & food court


THE MIX IS IN: The new 301-unit Beatrice rental building sits atop the 292-unit Eventi hotel. One-bedrooms start at $3,920, and three-bedroom penthouses should be around $20,000.
THE MIX IS IN: The new 301-unit Beatrice rental building sits atop the 292-unit Eventi hotel. One-bedrooms start at $3,920, and three-bedroom penthouses should be around $20,000.
HIGH HOPES: This studio is $3,325 per month at the Beatrice, where units start on the 26th floor and offer expansive city views.


For years, developers have made all sorts of attempts to marry the hotel with the condo.

They’ve created condo hotels where buyers can purchase rooms that can be used by hotel guests when they’re not there. (In many cases, like at Trump Soho, buyers are required to have their unit used by the hotel for a set number of days each year.) Or, they’ve built high-priced condos on top of their hotels.

But what about merging a hotel with a rental? That’s actually one we hadn’t heard before.

But now New York has the Beatrice, a massive 301-unit rental that sits atop the 292 rooms of the Eventi hotel on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea.

“When we initially decided to go forward, our initial concept was a condo on top,” says Evan Stein, president of JD Carlisle, developer of the 54-story building between 29th and 30th streets.


But that plan was hatched long before the financial crisis hit (the developer broke ground on the property in early 2006), and adding another expensive condo project to the struggling, crowded market didn’t seem to make sense.

“We thought the layouts would be good, rental-wise,” Stein says. So — with a little tweaking — he shifted gears.

Move-ins just started at the Beatrice, which has rented more than 25 percent of its units since opening its leasing office last month. Studios start at $2,790, one-bedrooms start at $3,920, and two-bedrooms start at $6,075. There are also four three-bedroom penthouses, whose prices have not been finalized but should be around $20,000. And, Stein says, the building is currently offering concessions of one month’s free rent on the first third of the apartments leased.

Not unlike condo components on top of hotels, the Beatrice is trying hard to be its own separate entity. There’s a residents-only gym and yoga studio on the 25th floor and on the 54th floor, a 2,600-square-foot “cloud terrace” (a k a roof terrace) and a 3,700-square-foot “cloud lounge.” The Beatrice’s concierge service (Luxury Attache) is also different from Eventi’s.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no interaction between the rentals and the hotel, which opened in May. “We’ll offer some of the services — like discounted rates at the spa,” Stein says.

And there’s also the proximity to the hotel’s new FoodParc (see story at right), a food court from Jeffrey Chodorow that opened this week. (“Some people say it looks like the cafeteria for the Death Star,” Brett Mitchell, director of food and beverage for Chodorow’s China Grill Management, says and laughs.)

But renters will have to make the trek down if they want to sample the food. They might live on top a hotel, but room service isn’t part of the offering.

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Parc here


Ask restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow what’s his favorite item at his new FoodParc and he’s at a loss.

“Maybe the egg rolls with Katz’s pastrami,” he says. (Yes, egg rolls here are stuffed with pastrami!) “But I love the burger. Pat LaFrieda made it with hanger steak.”

This food court offers relatively cheap eats when you compare it to, say, Todd English’s food court at the Plaza. There’s a burger concession called 3Bs (which stands for bacon, burgers and beers) where burgers are less than $7. An Asian-cuisine stand called RedFarm, from chef Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeld, serves dumplings for under $6 and duck buns for $4.95.


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