For the design of the Rockaway Beach Hotel—a unique mixed-use development offering hotel suites, residential units, and community-focused amenity spaces—Morris Adjmi Architects was inspired by the history and fabric of the established beachfront neighborhood. Maintaining the integrity of the existing context was particularly important to the project team as many members had strong ties to the community, cultivated over decades of frequenting its beaches, bars, and restaurants.
Essential to local character, the humble and eclectic bungalows found throughout the Rockaways were a key reference for the Hotel’s massing and façade. The mid-rise height of the new six-story building was carefully considered to avoid overshadowing the small historic clapboard houses nearby and zinc paneling was selected to echo their color and form. Situated on a direct path between the Rockaway ferry landing and the Beach 108 entrance, special care was also taken to display views of both the New York City skyline and the Atlantic Ocean in order to capture the rare crossover of relaxed beach town vibes and big city energy.
Within, the interiors were also designed to reflect the spirit of the Rockaways—casual and approachable with a sense of lighthearted novelty. Open concept plans and honest materials like wood, concrete, and wicker were selected to cultivate a cool and comfortable environment. The lobby in particular was designed to nurture a slower pace, intended to function as a familiar living room where guests would be happy to hang out. Abundant live greenery was incorporated throughout to soften the ambiance and add natural vibrance to both indoor and exterior spaces.