Hotel Marcel

The interiors of Hotel Marcel, designed by New York City branding and interiors firm Dutch East Design, marries Breuer’s brutalist concrete exterior with a soft and approachable interior.

New Haven’s Hotel Marcel debuted as what is anticipated to be the nation’s first net-zero hotel with both Passive House and LEED Platinum certification, giving new life to the long-vacant landmark Marcel Breuer Building, former home to the Pirelli Armstrong Rubber Company Headquarters.

With sustainability and historic preservation at the core of the property, this adaptive reuse project reflects both the iconic brutalist perspective of the building’s original designer and hotel’s namesake, as well as serves as a model of environmental sustainability for modern hotel design.

Upon arrival, guests are met by a palette of warm earth tones and a custom wood reception desk alongside a feature wall of terra cotta in a Cle Tile reminiscent of the original laboratory floors. An existing depressed floor plate was made into a sunken lobby lounge that also acts as pre-function space. The furniture, carpets, area rugs and lighting are custom designed by Dutch East Design, deploying Bauhaus inspired patterning throughout as a nod to Breuer’s training. The historic ceiling has been replaced in kind with a few added touches to respond to the interior layout, providing an open ceiling plane that accommodates the reimagined original architectural lighting system with new custom faceted wood and acrylic lens panels.

In the ninth floor function space, guests can experience a James Turrell-like interior courtyard and light well created to add natural light throughout the ballrooms. Boasting 15-foot-high ceilings, the space unveils Brueur’s architectural truss system, the imprint of which was cast as a relief into the building’s exterior.

Hotel Marcel’s 165 minimalist guest rooms utilize concrete gray, caramel vinyl and walnut throughout, emphasized by pops of muted dark green and sienna and decorative lighting. Following the original floor plans of the office, the rooms achieve an openness through custom designed interlocking furniture. On the opposing side of the room sits a sculptural cast concrete table, celebrating the building’s exterior and featuring a Breuer Cesca chair.

To emphasize a softer contrast to the exteriorDutch East and fine artist Kraemer Sims Becker are spearheading the hotel’s art collection with Brooklyn based female artists, all of which connect with the Bauhaus movement in their work. Art from the collection will be found in every room. Within the King rooms, handmade patchwork wall hangings by Brooklyn artist Cory Siegler are suspended from wood frames and feature a combination of fabrics, some of which are archived memo samples from Dutch East Design’s collection of fabric palettes for the project.

On the eighth floor live the hotel’s nine historic rooms and suites, highlighting the carefully restored and preserved wood paneled walls. Offsetting the rich color of the wood, Dutch East selected oak for the casegoods and a blend of light blues and warm grays in textiles throughout the spaces lounge area, kitchenette and bedroom. Custom carpets with an over-scaled Bauhaus inspired graphic can also be found in the suites.

Design: Dutch East Design
Photography: Seamus Payne