Danny Forster & Architecture to Build the World's Tallest Modular Hotel in NYC

A fully-furnished guest room module of the AC Hotel New York NoMad by Marriott. Design and photography courtesy of Danny Forster & Architecture.

Space-efficient, cost-efficient, and replicable at scale. These are just a handful of the design objectives urban hotels must meet. They also create a best-case scenario for someone like Danny Forster, an architect with a longtime interest in modular design. Forster has been receiving major buzz for his latest project, the modular AC Hotel New York NoMad by Marriott. 

The hotel will come to the NoMad district of New York City in late 2020. At 26 stories, the 360-foot-tall tower will be the world's tallest modular hotel. According to Marriott, its 168 prefabricated and pre-furnished hotel rooms and amenities will take a speedy 90 days to assemble once completed. Forster and his firm, Danny Forster & Architects, have been commissioned by Marriott to oversee the hotel's architecture and interior design.

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The first three stories of the hotel, including the lobby, will be conventionally-designed. The tower, which sits atop the lobby and two floors of public-space amenities, will be constructed modularly. To make this possible, Forster is relying upon the engineering behind a cast-in-place core that will support the weight of each module.

Exterior rendering of the AC Hotel New York NoMad. Design and photography courtesy of Danny Forster & Architecture.

"The central spine of the building is a cast-in-place concrete tower that is made in New York. So the modules carry their own self-load, and the lateral load is picked up by the elevator core and stair towers. So we’re going to be casting our core progressively as the building rises. You’ll see the core go up a little bit, you’ll see some modules get stacked, and so forth. It’ll have that sort of rhythm," he told Interior Design.

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"I had been thinking about modular [design] for a very long time. It just felt like, of all the possible projects to attempt this, this was a really great project for modular. It enabled us to leverage all of the benefits of modular by having, for example, a cast-in-place concrete, traditionally-built podium. Which is where we have all of the amenity space, the lobby, the food and beverage, and so forth. All of that very uniquely designed. A very unrepeatable space is the podium, made of concrete. Then the tower is the inverse. It’s incredibly rigid, very repeatable, very rigorous in that respect."

The AC Hotel New York NoMad will be located at 642 Sixth Avenue, and is expected to open in late 2020.

In the meantime, check into any of these seven inspiring hotels in the U.S. during your travels.

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