AKA Tribeca, the first hotel in the AKA brand’s portfolio of hotel residences, recently debuted its new lobby by Jennifer Post—marking the well-known residential interior designer’s first foray into hospitality design. With its sophisticated palette of charcoal black, soft cashmere gray, and brushed bronze, the ground level’s main lounge and evening bar space showcase a dramatic transformation from its previous incarnation as The Smyth Hotel.
The centerpiece of the lounge is Danish designer Verner Panton’s curved Cloverleaf sofa, originally designed in 1969, while a series of sitting nooks along one wall feature Carrara marble and brass table lamps by Roche Bobois and pivoting bronze and black glass screen dividers by Vallessa Monk of Monk Designs. Flooring is black porcelain with a sleek metal accent running through it from the front entrance to the bar area and minimal recessed lighting is by the German manufacturer Apure.
Designed as a residential-inspired gathering spot solely for AKA Tribeca guests—and residents as the property features 15 condominium units and 100 hotel rooms—the space is an “elegant, sophisticated, sexy, comfortable, and welcoming reprieve” from the pace of New York City, says Post. The lounge and bar areas are divided by a two-sided modern gas fireplace to impart coziness in the evening and the bar is framed by a back-lit acrylic art panel with lighting control by Lutron that can change color to suit the season or mood.
Larry Korman, principal of Korman Communities, met Post in 2013 after seeing her work and deciding she was the right designer to re-envision his family home in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, the Kahn Korman House, which was the last residence designed by legendary mid-century architect Louis Kahn in 1973. After that collaboration, in which Post created custom contemporary pieces that integrated with Kahn’s masterful original vision, Korman says he was eager to work with Post on a hospitality project.
The Tribeca property, a new build in 2005 when it debuted as The Smyth, was a good fit for AKA and for Korman, who is a sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival. Says Korman: “This was about creating a three-dimensional environment that works within this neighborhood.”
The AKA Tribeca's rooms are also being re-envisioned—by Nicholas Cardone, AKA’s in-house designer—in phases into “Platinum Collection” guestrooms, with the first group on floors 2-4 completed. They feature custom bedding, contemporary furnishings, and a Carrara marble bathroom with a glass-enclosed rain shower.
The property also features Little Park, a restaurant by Chef Andrew Carmellini that is open to both hotel guests and the public and offers 24-hour room service.