It's the Little Things
by Sue Apfelbaum, 02/06/2013
Photo: Kate Glicksberg
The James New York
27 Grand St., 212-465-2000, SoHo, Manhattan
The James cuts a dramatic figure from its SoHo perch, from the concrete halo that shelters its plunge pool on the roof, down to its garden oasis, whose lush foliage spills over its walls like grass emerging from pavement, hinting at the splendor within. Designed by ODA Architecture and Perkins Eastman Architects, the 17-story concrete-and-glass structure is bright and airy, with playful touches throughout. The wraparound, cantilevered Sky Lobby is reminiscent of the Colorado house made famous in Woody Allen's 1973 movie Sleeper, with its curved glass-walled facade. Inside it's a welcoming sight, too, with luminous bubble chandeliers by Lindsey Adelman and plush linen-white decor. Off the foyer, Sarah Frost's abstract QWERTY art reuses keyboard keys cleverly. John-Paul Philippé's Art Nouveau–style numbering marks each room, which are light and minimally decorated, with glass bathrooms that can be made private with a screen designed by Dutch artist Nienke Sybrandy. Other treats include a mini bar stocked with Dean & Deluca snacks and small-batch Hudson Whiskey.