This very hip mid-town Manhattan rooftop lounge was designed by the award-winning architectural firm de-spec.

One of the challenges was how to design the lobby, which also served as the waiting area for the loo.

Whenever de-spec principle Farnaz Mansuri goes to someone’s house, she can tell more about who they are from their bathroom, than all their furniture and decor. She feels the bathroom is equivalent to the lingerie she wears. It’s not the first thing you see, but it says a whole lot.

It also translates to all the bathrooms de-spec designs. If the bathroom is like your lingerie, then maybe the trends in design are what the latest lingerie trends are. And the type of lingerie depends on the sort of activity. Farnaz theory is the 2 extremes are ‘Eres’ effortless, casual, clean and on the other is ‘Kiki Monparnasse’, oozing sex and calculating. ‘Upstairs’ is more of Eres with a wink!

de-spec wanted to make the area as sexy as the lounge itself, elegant and dimmed down to feel more private when you step off the elevator. They designed the lobby to allow for privacy and while you wait on the busy nights, it looks feels and smells good.

Instead of significant furniture and artwork that defines the space and atmosphere of the guestroom. they tried to make the architecture works its magic and not rely on decorative elements. In this case juxtaposing the dark wood/stone de-spec used etched glass mirror to provide an accent and to play with the light.

They used dark inca stone on the walls up to the sill and groutless, making its maintenance easy so it can be hosed and washed. Above the sill it transitions to oil finish, American walnut which they used in the wine lobby & waiting area as well. They prefer oil finish, as it can be maintained and kept clean and ages more elegantly. Nothing is worse than a tired, run down polyurethane or varnish finish. Their choice of materials hinge of how they age and ease of maintenance. Above the sill on the window walls of each bathroom the used an etched glass laminiate silverized mirror panels by Bendheim to provide a slight dimmed shimmer.

Project: UPSTAIRS at the Kimberly Hotel Location: New York, USA Design: De-spec | Photographs: Frank Oudeman Type: Interior

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