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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


Photos by Chris Cooper for citizenM Photos by Chris Cooper for citizenM
At 19 stories with over 100,000 square feet, citizenM Bowery is not only the newest building on one of the oldest streets in New York City, but it is also the tallest modular hotel in the country.

Originally designed as a conventional poured-in-place concrete building, citizenM later decided to redesign the building using more efficient modular construction for the 15 guest room floors. The modules were stacked during a six-month period from November 2016 to May 2017. The property is currently open with the soft opening on September 14th, and in the coming weeks all of the rooms will be open (as per last week, about 50% of the rooms were available).
The hotel has 210 guest room modules, with a total of 300 rooms. The hotel also includes a double height lobby and lounge, a rooftop bar with outdoor space and uninterrupted panoramic skyline views, a bistro-style restaurant and co-working space on the ground level and a 4,000-square-foot plaza.
Isaac-Daniel Astrachan, a Principal at SBJGroup said, "As a brand, citizenM's main concern was to design a fantastic hotel that happens to be modular. For our team, it was a bigger deal because it had never been done before to stack 15 floors of modular guest rooms on top of each other. It’s a little more complicated than it sounds."
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In collaboration with Concrete Architectural Associates and DeSimone Consulting Engineers, one of the teams’ biggest challenges was not only to deliver the tallest modular hotel in the United States but also to fit the structure inside a building envelope originally developed for a cast-in place concrete structure, while ensuring that it met local code requirements.
According to Astrachan, “The construction industry as a whole is looking to keep up with advances in technology and finding new and exciting ways to speed up the building process, and modular construction is definitely a mode of construction that optimizes efficiency. Following citizenM’s brand standards and room sizes, which are predicated on providing affordable luxury, the layout of the typical floors is as streamlined and efficient as possible.”
CitizenM Bowery-03 Photo of the ground floor plaza (CityRealty)
The lowest levels on up to the fourth floor are framed in cast-in-place concrete to allow for the open amenity spaces in the lower levels. The fourth-floor concrete slab is 36 inches thick with spans measuring up to 38 feet that functions as a transfer slab to support the modular levels. The 15 stories of hotel modules rise from this floor. The nineteenth floor up to the roof is framed in structural steel to provide open spaces at the upper amenity levels. Throughout the building, a standalone concrete core and a blade shear wall between the two northern modules act as the building’s lateral system.
Executing design and construction created additional challenges. The modular field connections had to withstand large forces produced by a tall building, provide sufficient field tolerances, avoid interference with adjacent modules, and provide room to assemble the modules in the field.
citizenM-Bowery-03 Typical room in the hotel (Chris Cooper)
Graffiti art via Rae Maxwell
This project is citizenM’s second hotel in New York, following the opening of their Times Square property in 2014. Astrachan commented, "All citizenM hotels are very similar as far as their rooms and communal spaces. Each is slightly different and site-specific depending on the site. In the Bowery, the collection of graffiti art in the stairs makes it really unique, and the views from the rooftop are even more amazing than those in Times Square. Also, the one in Times Square was not built as a modular hotel."
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to work on this unique project,” said Benjamin Downing, Managing Principal for DeSimone in New Haven, CT. “The project team faced numerous design challenges, but we resolved these quickly and efficiently to help realize the tallest modular hotel in the nation.”

The world’s largest hotel brands such as Marriott are set to be following suit and hopping on the trend in coming years, designing new modular hotels in New York City.
The view east from the rood deck

Additional Info About the Building

Contributing Writer Michelle Sinclair Colman Michelle writes children's books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle's first children's book, "Urban Babies Wear Black." Michelle has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics.
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