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Ian Schrager

Founder Ian Schrager Company


Ian Schrager’s latest hotel has opened in New York’s Bowery neighbourhood, in a building designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

According to the pioneering hotelier, the 367-room Public will be “the people’s hotel,” providing unique memories for guests looking for more than just a place to sleep.

“Luxury is no longer about things or about how much something costs,” said Schrager. “It’s not a business classification, a price point or based on scarcity. Luxury is now about experiences and how something makes you feel.”

He has described the interiors, by the Ian Schrager Company, as “personal, provocative and flamboyant”, while paradoxically simple and modest; a style designed to resonate with all generations and make them feel as though they’re “at home, but better.”

“It’s not shabby chic, retro, industrial, reclaimed or the ubiquitous Brooklyn look,” continued Schrager.

“It’s simplicity as the ultimate sophistication,” he added. “There’s no pretence. It’s invisible design done with honesty, conviction, love and passion.”

The rooms are designed “like cabins in a yacht, where you have everything you need and want, and nothing extraneous.” The hotel’s public spaces have been created to “connect work, leisure, fun and culture” for those who visit.

Public also has private apartments with interiors designed by John Pawson.

The hotel’s amenities include French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Public Kitchen; a cafe; three bars; landscaped gardens; multiple communal workspaces; private event rooms, and a number of observation points with 360-degree views of New York.

Arts programme
Public Arts – a “progressive, avant-garde multimedia performance space” – will host film screenings, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibitions, lectures, readings, workshops and comedy nights.

A statement announcing the opening of Public read: “There’s not been a new idea in the lifestyle hotel space since Ian Schrager’s Morgans, Royalton and Paramount hotels over 25 years ago. Every hotel since then has been derivative of those.” Expanding on this, Schrager said: “I’m always looking for a new and better way of doing things to upset the status quo and shake things up.”

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