3 -min. read

In October 2017, it will be five years since Hurricane Sandy – one of the most destructive hurricanes in US history – hit New York City, claiming 117 lives, damaging over 200,000 homes and causing more than $19 billion in damages.

While 1 Hotels had much to celebrate last week with the opening of 1 Brooklyn Bridge, it’s using the milestone of this, its first new-built property, to reflect on the resilience of the human spirit in recovering from destruction through a permanent art collection both inside and outside the hotel.

The hotel as it’s come to life today, right on the East River (above the head-on views of Lower Manhattan), is closely linked to Sandy. Architectural drawings for what was to be the hotel were just submitted when the hurricane hit. Waterfront zoning changed in the aftermath, resulting in a radical redesign to raise the building by three feet without changing its overall height and to incorporate new requirements such as moving mechanical equipment to the roof.

The power of rising water has a permanent place in the hotel’s corner suites, where Brooklyn artist Olivié Ponce has painted ‘waterline’ murals along the walls.

When checking in, you’ll see this – All OVEREACHOTHER, a piece by installation artist Jarrod Beek – behind the front desk. Made from pieces of rubber roofing that were stripped from a big box retailer during a tornado in Utica, upstate New York, in 2014, Beek saw the destruction the tornado left behind, which ‘led him to ponder the relationships between building structures and feelings of refuge and shelter’.

Finally, Daniel Philips – an artist whose work ‘explores the physical and spatial histories of post-industrial landscapes’ – is using items he found at abandoned and demolished buildings and casting them in clay to create two sculptures for the hotel. One covers the chimney structure on the roof of the hotel, while the other can be found inside on the second floor.

There is more art and artistic expression to explore though – from bespoke furniture and a 25-foot green wall in the lobby to a lighting installation with lampshades made from mushroom mycelium (a combination of fungus and agricultural byproduct) in the Riverhouse (Penthouse) Suite.

1 Brooklyn Bridge offers 194 rooms and suites, which feature Keetsa mattresses and from what we can see on the first images many of the things that we loved so much at its Central Park hotel that we ditched a reservation elsewhere and checked back in within a week: beautiful, natural materials, different textures and pops of lush green everywhere. It won’t be a surprise that sustainability is key: 54% of all materials are regional and reclaimed, there is a rain-water reclamation system, 100% of energy coming from wind power, triple-filter water purification and more.

Right before cutting the ribbon on Brooklyn Bridge, 1 Hotels has also finally shared where it’s headed next. The good news: there are three further hotels in the pipeline. The bad news: those of us in Europe are still being left out. With three hotels on the East Coast, 1 Hotels will head west for 1 Hotel Sunnyvale, coming in 2019 with 332 rooms close to the Google Mountainview campus in California. It’s also working on a property in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the same year, which will have 115 rooms and 50 homes. Finally, but the first projected to open in late 2018, 1 Hotel Haitang Bay will bring 280 rooms and suites to Sanya, China.

[Photos: 1 Hotels]


Paul J DeVries
Paul J DeVries is a freelance travel writer and was previously a contributing editor for HotelChatter.com. Based in London, he knows the city's hotel scene inside out, while also covering the latest in destinations around the world. When not checking out a new hotel, he checks in on the airlines and inflight products that get you there.

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