Starting June 28, adventurous tourists can shack up at the gritty-yet-refined new Boro Hotel in Long Island City.
The Boro Hotel’s underplayed glamour comes courtesy of architects Matthew Grzywinski and Amador Pons. Here, in one end of the lobby, is a custom-designed communal table in front of a cement-brick wall that adds pattern and texture and also hides the main hotel office. Guests will check in with roving receptionists carrying tablets. “We wanted to take away that hierarchy of a front desk between you and the receptionist,” Grzywinski explains.
The lobby is an open loft space. Here, beyond the communal table, seen in the back, there is a freestanding bookcase backed by a banquette. “The books are behind fluted glass,” Grzywinski says. “We wanted the light to be a little bit diffused. And it acts as a vertical divide.”
“A lot of the palette was informed by the materials,” Grzywinski says. “There’s copper, brass, porcelain, and concrete, which we painted this sort of charcoal color, and then in addition to that we definitely wanted to pop with hues that were a little bit more saturated.” The bar acts as a railing for the big open staircase, which leads down to the bathrooms.
The painted open structure on the cork ceiling was initially made to be the mechanical hood for the fireplace. But, Grzywinski says, “we ended up doing a gel fire and still liked the way the hood worked, so we kept it.”
“We inherited the structure of the building,” Grzywinski says, “and its rawness was the best thing.” He and Pons maintained the industrial feel by using cement bricks and a slate countertop in another bar-and-café area.
The architects left the guest-room hallways in their raw state, save for polishing the concrete floors and painting the fire surfaces red (a code necessity that they say worked in their favor) and the ceiling the color of anthracite. Those simple tweaks created a crisp design dynamic.
Each room is furnished with a simple desk, reading lamp, and chair. The lichen-green-painted wood-paneled area behind the desk references wainscoting and acts to bring warmth to the concrete walls.
The city lies at your feet with these views from a west-facing guest room. The flannel curtains stretch the full ten feet from the ceiling to the oak floor. And yes, the door leads to a terrace with a railing — it’s just invisible in this photo.