Reintroducing a New York City rooftop gem to the public
We started with research on the building via city archives, and uncovered the inspiring story of female developer Emily Hepburn who advocated for the building’s construction in the 1920s. It was the original “women’s only coven”, and later transformed into a hot spot for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis. The space has a history of creating intimate evenings.
The concept is “cabinet of curiosities.” We layered the existing art deco bones with art nouveau details to tell the story of the shift from a fascination with the machine, to a fascination with nature. New York is a city of wonders. Ophelia is a rooftop bar that embodies the city’s passion for discovery. Each element brings to life a narrative of the past to modern times.
The space was originally wrapped by an outdoor terrace. Previous renovations covered the terrace and created a greenhouse-like space where the definition between indoors and outdoors is blurred. With a skillful team of mechanical engineers, the building’s landmark was preserved, and the entire, 360 degree, terrace could be opened to the public. To blend the grand hall and the wrap around terrace, we planned a layout suite for The Grand Terrace.
Inspired by art nouveau settings, Parisian apartments of the 1930s embraced colors from nature around – particularly the blues of the night sky. Our design brief sought a modern approach to classic interiors rich in history and built for the modern context.
Guided by a sister-brief to the design approach, the brand sought character. We focused on who once lived in the building. How did she spend her days? Who was she excited to run into on the terrace in the evenings? Ophelia is a popular name from the building’s heyday, and gave color to the use journey’s of the space’s future guests. Flora and fauna Illustrations are adapted from public archives of the British Library Catalog.
We managed custom furniture designed in partnership with Amy Wenden was locally fabricated in Queens With details, come questions. We were on site throughout build to help coordinate construction administration. To make sure each element received expert treatment, we partnered with James Wheeler to source and curate each oddity that link back to the building’s history and story.
We worked with Lion and Lamb Communications to tell the space’s new chapter. We developed marketing collateral including event decks and party invitations to make sure the space’s first impression was cohesive and built excitement, which helped us land incredible features in some of the world’s best publications from Condé Nast to New York Times.