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Philip Koether Architects

315 West 39th Street

Studio 906

New York  NY 10018

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Entries in Philip Koether (4)


Philip Koether Architects winner of 2012 Antron Design Award

At a special gala ceremony held at The Resort at Pelican Hill® in Newport Coast, Calif, the Antron® Design Awards were awarded on April 22nd, 2012.

Hospitality Category Winner:  Philip Koether Architects for Bar Basque

Bar Basque, which occupies 20,000 square feet on the second floor of a new 54 story mixed use project in New York City, features the robust color scheme of red and black, accented by reflective metal and glass architectural elements.  The lounge and bar area incorporates subtle allusion to the Basque region while incorporating high-tech programmatic features.  Both the private dining area and bar itself feature art installations referencing the famed Bilbao Tree in full bloom.  Public areas are enveloped in Infiniti Red opaque and translucent wall panels illuminated to glow from within and soften the intense color scheme.  Black architectural elements, details and furnishings were utilized to contrast with the custom red color at all light levels.  Recipients: Philip Koether, Jerome Burgos, Syd Mead.


Designed to Imbibe: Bar Basque, NYC

What do designers do when even "out-of-the-box" thinking becomes a cliché? It’s time to start thinking "out-of-this-world." Or, at least, that is how architect Philip Koether and designer Syd Mead approached the seating design at New York City’s Bar Basque, the adjacent dining outlet to Eventi hotel, Kimpton Hotels’ most recent NYC project. "For this project we knew the seating had to appeal to many terrifically diverse groups," says Koether. To describe Bar Basque’s design as futuristic seems a bit jarring. As Koether puts it, the ambiance is very "of the next moment," while still referencing the Basque region (primarily the color red and the Bilbao tree). Bold red walls and carpeting pop against jet black and off-white seating, while the bar area is outfitted with stools and blasts of chrome and white.

It was very important in the design to have the space and furniture suit both daytime and nighttime experiences. Each chair has to work constantly for different settings and physiques. Each chair, sofa and table has its own look, which is somewhat reminiscent of someone’s very first apartment, and yet they blend together cohesively in a hodgepodge-meets-sexy-chic fusion.

"It must be universal, ergonomic, comfortable; should stack if at a dining table; aesthetically support the goals of your design concept; and be expressive with a range of options to appeal to diverse personalities and their moods, simultaneously," says Koether. Sound complicated? Maybe to some. But Koether and Mead managed to achieve this harmonious blend that has been pulling in a wide range of demographics since opening.

To do so, they used a combination of old and new: "synthetics" pitted aggressively against "naturals." In other words, geometric furniture intertwined with wildly natural tree-branch tables, or pickled-oak veneered chairs with cast fiberglass tables. "Unlike the dining area—where one size must fit all—it’s best to offer choices in the bar, lounge and club areas if you can," Koether says. “Find pieces which are both commanding and demure, elegant/refined and bold/rustic, and then place them judiciously."


Name of Project: Bar Basque Designer/Architect: Philip Koether Architects/Syd Mead, Inc. Lighting: ILight Technologies; RSA Dining Chair and Barstool Fabrics: Ultrafabrics, LLC. Resin Flooring: Specialty Flooring Systems, Inc. Painting in Private Dining Area: Andrew Schoultz, courtesy of Morgan Lehman Gallery Carpet: Bently Prince Street Window Shades: DFB Sales, Inc. Tables and Chairs: Canoe Hospitality. Wallcovers: Koroseal; Innovations


Luxury living: Manhattan's Beatrice is a new high point in New York rentals  

Friday, January 7th 2011, 4:00 AM

Sunny luxury anyone? A model unit of the interior of the Beatrice.

The luxury rental has come a long way from granite countertops, health clubs, roof decks and retail banks at the base.

That was so six months ago.

With a rental property, hotel, two restaurants, three elevator banks, 500-car public parking garage, 54th-floor resident lounge, two ballrooms and three bars, you could get lost in and around the Beatrice, a mixed-use building at Sixth Ave. and 29th St. This is now, and when it comes to the competitive landscape of luxury rentals, "now" means a total living experience.

As much food and entertainment complex as rental, the Beatrice sits atop the 23-story Eventi Hotel, a public plaza with a stadium-size seven-figure-priced television screen and two red-hot restaurant concepts. The 301 rental units start on the 26th floor, meaning the views from every apartment are some of the best in the city.

In five months, the building is 77% rented with four $20,000 penthouses coming on the market next month. Studios start in the mid-$3,000 range with one-bedrooms hovering around $4,500.

"These apartments start 300 feet in the air, meaning our views begin at a height where most of our competition's stop," says Evan Stein, president of J.D. Carlisle Development Corp., the lower Park Ave.-based, three-decade-old developer of the project. "The idea from the beginning was a condo-quality luxury rental. You have to deliver a one-of-a-kind, quality product to draw people today."

From corner units on higher floors, the entire city lays out in front of you. This building gets residents closer to the top of the Empire State Building than any other. From every apartment, bridges and rivers are part of the view. New York-based Perkins Eastman, architects of the pending Flushing Commons in Queens and 123 Third Ave. on 14th St., designed the building that rises above Sixth Ave. like an exclamation point. The interiors, by midtown west's Philip

Koether Architects, are heavy on high-tech.

Walking through FoodParc and Bar Basque, the two Beatrice restaurants conceived and operated by Jeffrey Chodorow's China Grill Management, the group who created Asia de Cuba, you feel like you're in some futuristic movie set.

Bar Basque, one of the largest Spanish restaurants in the United States, is deep red with a long lounge, dark passageways, curvy interiors and a by-the-glasse wine dispenser. The dining room sits under a solarium with retractable roof. It looks directly at the stadium-size screen that plays old movies and sporting events. With the screen on, a movie buff may feel like he or she is in "Blade Runner," the 1982 cult film starringHarrison Ford as a bounty hunter looking for rogue clones. Koether designed the restaurant with Syd Mead, the legendary Hollywood set designer famous for "Tron," "Blade Runner" and other sci-fi hits.

The same tech-savvy design carries over to FoodParc, a stark white free-WiFi kiosk-styled food court with an elevated dining area that's more amphitheater than restaurant. To move people through the ordering process, customers select items using digital touchscreens located throughout the establishment. One food kiosk, RedFarm Stand, offers Chinese fare from Joe Ng, the chef at Chinatown Brasserie in NoHo and formerly at World Tong Seafood in Brooklyn. 3B's (bacon, burgers, and beer) has farm-fresh Wisconsin bacon and a top-rated city burger. A menu of microbrews rounds out the menu.

‘We didn't want anything to be normal in the entire complex," says Stein, who started as a super and construction manager in the company founded by his grandfather. "There is nothing average here — not the views from the apartments, or the food and design."

Bar Basque has already become a draw among Spanish tourists and foodies, who make the restaurant a destination for its food, size, and design.

"This is the first really big Basque restaurant to open in New York City, and it's become a source of pride for many Spanish people," says Terry Zarikian, creative director of Bar Basque who rents an apartment in the Beatrice. "While we are proud of the design, the emphasis is on cuisine. The Basques are one of the most innovative cultures in the world for food, and we want this to be a center for tasting and enjoying their creations."

A stairwell from Food Parc to Bar Basque allows diners to go to and from both restaurants. Different areas of the building are connected physically and virtually, by passageways, stairwells and sightlines. The restaurants operate as the hotel's room service and banquet kitchens, allowing the developer to maximize space. J.D. Carlisle's construction arm handles all of the construction for their buildings.

"That's how we were able to afford to get this built with the different components," says Stein, whose company also marketed and built Morton Square in the West Village. "Doing our own construction allows us to keep costs down, make fast decisions and control budgets and deadlines. If we had to rely on someone else, we'd still be building."

Stein, 38, who named the building after the "most elegant woman" he'd ever met, his grandmother, learned the business from Jules Demchick, 71, who learned the business from Stein's grandfather, the company's founder. For J.D. Carlisle, this generation-based mentoring mixes youth and maturity to bring innovative, well-timed real estate products to the New York market every three to four years.

"Jules always taught me that in times of trouble there will always be a flight to quality," says Stein, explaining why the Beatrice rented so quickly in an economic downturn. "It's the simple things that drive luxury rentals, like embedding the shower rod in the ceiling or having a 24-hour concierge on call for every resident, whether they want a restaurant reservation or helicopter to the airport."

Renters in the building include a heavy percentage of corporate executives and international professionals looking for location and high-end services. Several major subway stops are within blocks. Penn Station and Madison SquareGarden are 10 minutes on foot. The building also has a yoga studio and full-service fitness center. Its lightning-quick lease-up might be due to a combination of characteristics.

"Even people renting the bottom floors have views that clear the entire area," says Clifford Finn, head of Citi Habitats Marketing Group, leasing this building and most of the other top rental products in the city. "Everyone who rents here has the feeling that they are on top of the world. I think people also love being on top of the hotel."

Demchick, considered a real estate marketing guru for delivering high-quality product after high-quality product, recognizes views as a main draw but says the unique size and location of the building site gave the project definition.

"I'm a student of zoning," says Demchick, Carlisle's chairman. "When I realized this site had no real height restrictions, a full-frontal block for retail, and we could build a 500-car garage, the idea took shape. It allowed for a real hotel, not boutique or trendy, and it gave us the chance to build apartments on top, something I've always wanted to try. For the restaurants, we needed an operator who could create a buzz and deliver food and entertainment to the hotel crowd, renters and locals. That's not easy, but we were able to do it." 

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Rendering of the exterior of the Beatrice.

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Interest builds in 839 Sixth Avenue

This exciting project is a hotel/residential development at 839 Sixth Avenue. Philip Koether is the Interior Architect for both the 302 rental apartments at the Beatrice and a 30,000 square foot restaurant and bar space on 2 floors of the 54 storey building to be operated by China Grill Management.

Philip is collaborating on the design of the Bar Basque restaurant and Foodparc with futuristic concept designer, Syd Mead, most famous for the 1982 cyberpunk cinema classic "Blade Runner" which remains one of the most influential science fiction movies of all time.

This piece of information generated quite a stir on the Eater blog. Click the link below to read their take on the project.

Foodparc and Bar Basque are slated to open  early October 2010.