Construction is making rapid progress at 38 West 36th Street, where a Peter Poon-designed hotel is about to begin its vertical ascent. The project’s developer is Executive Hotels, and it will house ‘Le Soleil,’ which will supposedly “reflect stylish sophistication and the warmth of old world elegance.”
While on-site renderings depict a relatively inoffensive building, a new PDF posted on Le Soleil Hotels’ website offers a decidedly different perspective on the development, and it seems as though the design has undergone changes; any semblance of attractiveness has apparently gone out the window.
The differences between the images are apparently the product of artistic license, as zoning diagrams filed last April match the version of 38 West 36th Street in the PDF. It would seem as though the on-site renderings are misleading, as they differ from both DOB drawings, as well as the most recent online depictions of the hotel.
38 West 36th Street will have an initial twelve-foot setback from the street, degrading the urban form of the block; the discrepancy of the street-wall is especially evident in the latest image. Minor architectural flourishes on the upper levels also seem to have been value-engineered, resulting in an overall stump-like appearance.
Marketing materials for the site are a tad optimistic, and note “the inspiration for the design came from luminary hotels; The Savoy in London and Le Crillon in Paris.”
Whether Marie Antoinette would take piano lessons at 38 West 36th Street as she did during her days spent at the Crillon seems a tad uncertain; the design for Le Soleil seems to draw from the school of Fisher Price rather than old-world Europe, and any comparison between the work of Peter Poon and that of Ange-Jacques Gabriel — Louis XIV’s favorite architect — may be slightly far-fetched.
Completion of 38 West 36th Street is expected in March of 2015, and the 162-room hotel will rise 22 stories.
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