Located in the center of the Times Square entertainment district, the new Intercontinental New York Times Square Hotel’s lobby is intended as a respite from the hustle and bustle of the street, and the 1,500-square-foot courtyard is its serene centerpiece.
The courtyard’s sculptural focal point is a metallic sapling cluster whose form strikes a compelling dialogue with its Zen-like environment. Its visual impact made the more striking by a translucent, vibrant red-resin panel behind it, the tree stand above a zero-edge reflecting pool, over which it seems to hover; subtly concealed LED lighting accents the composition by day, and gives the red wall a luminous glow by night.
There’s also a series of staggered, sheared boxwood hedges beside a floating stone bench that recalls the rock karesansui gardens of Japan, a laminated granite wall and a line of tall illuminated bamboo in stainless steel planters.
Says landscape architect Thomas Balsley, “The courtyard for the Intercontinental is designed to oxygenate the hotel, both literally and figuratively. It offers a visual and spiritual retreat to the hotel’s travelers and guests as they retreat from the city’s bustle.”
Thomas Balsley’s nearly four-decade mission of beautifying and enriching the urban experience include Dallas’ Main Street Garden, Tampa’s Curits Hixon Park, and Manhattan’s new Riverside Park South.
designer: thomas balsley associates (tba)