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

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The proposed River Hotel would have been where Brooklyn Bridge Park is today.
Architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Developer: David Walentas of Two Trees Management
Location: Main Street Pier (now part of Brooklyn Bridge Park), DUMBO, Brooklyn
Project Stats: 9 Stories, 100 feet tall, 350,000SF, 250 hotel rooms with a later plan for apartments
Funny how ideas that seemed amazing in the past could be seen as blunders today. In 1999, back when CAD was becoming mainstream and expanses of glass were still novel, French architect Jean Nouvel drew up this quixotic design for a 250-room hotel on the DUMBO waterfront. Commissioned by David Walentas — the resurrector of the post-industrial 'hood —the pier/bridge-like building would have been wedged between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges and cantilever 134 feet out over the East River.
The hotel would have cantilevered 134 feet over the East River.
Nouvel, the 2008-winner of the Pritzker Prize says, "The River Hotel is, in essence, a bridge between two bridges: a place for looking at the city's bridges as if from the deck of a ship."

Clad in a spare, industrial vocabulary, the elevated 5-floor hotel would have featured open and enclosed promenades reminiscent of trans-Atlantic liners. The suites were conceived as spacious balconies, minimally furnished with one wall being a mirror. Grounded below within a five-story box, would have been a 16-screen movie theater where screens would lift during intermissions to reveal the Manhattan skyline and bridges.
Screens at the movie theater would have raised during intermissions to reveal the Manhattan skyline and bridges.
It obeys the strict logic of New York's piers and respects the orthogonal urban grid running down to the water, says Nouvel. "Panoramic views will stretch to the maximum, with sheets of glass so wide and so clear that people will wonder if they even exist. Images will stretch and duplicate in these planes of reflecting glass, creating a play between the real and the virtual."
The standing New York Times architecture critic, Herbert Muschamp, sung praises of the design, saying "Jean Nouvel's hotel and cineplex strikes me as one of the most imaginatively conceived pieces of architecture New York has seen in a long time." He goes on to say, "It's a bridge-like building for a city in transition from manufacturing to information as an economic base. It is playful, disciplined, sociable and pushy.
"The River Hotel is, in essence, a bridge between two bridges." - Jean Nouvel
The River Hotel was proposed at a time when nearly all of the Brooklyn waterfront was off-limits to the public and could hardly be imagined as an open amenity to all. Still, many found its location problematic since it competes with the great bridges and disrupts the urban vista from the Manhattan side.

In the early 2000s Two Trees Management gave the proposal another go by filling the design with apartments. Ultimately, plans for a building at the location were dropped and today the site is part of Brooklyn Bridge's Park Main Street section.
Renderings from 1999 show the World Trade Center towers from the pier.
THE ASTOR, 235 W 75TH STREET View Property
Immediate occupancy. 1-5 bedrooms from $1.950M. View Property
Expansive NYC and Hudson River views with amazing amenities, nestled between Chelsea and Theater District View Property
Upper West Side amenity-rich, modern luxury studio, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom rentals View Property
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