The Plaza Hotel
New York, NY
In 2004, ELAD Properties purchased the landmark hotel at Fifth Avenue and Central Park for a $350 million renovation and transformation into a multi-use property of hotel rooms, retail space, luxury residences, and a new 15,000-square-foot interior courtyard with fountains and planting.
Flanked by private residential terraces and viewed from hotel rooms above, the courtyard space was designed for passive recreation for building residents with access to the space, and as a visual focus for all tenants in the evening hours and from above The design of the courtyard draws from the French architectural tradition of the building and is inspired by iconic Parisian gardens. Employing a rich palette of materials, the design includes stone balustrades consistent with the hotel's original details, granite walls, bluestone paving, and a stabilized gravel court bordered by granite cobblestones. Decorative topiary features punctuate the central water feature. Attention was also given to highlighting the courtyard’s central copper bay running up the building's facade.
Given the restrictive nature of the site’s geometry, its environment of intense shade, and its sensitive location above the landmark ballroom, a combination of design strategies were employed including:
1. a cascading linear water channel with a large decorative water fountain to the west that terminates at an 1,100 SF rectangular pool with spray jets at the eastern end
2. a planting palette that included small, flowering trees, and shade-loving evergreen hedges, groundcover and seasonal planters
3. light-weight fill materials
This work was completed while Project Manager at Abel Bainnson Butz