Neil Wong says the idea for the hotel came out of a late night of partying. When a friend missed
the last train home to New Jersey at 4am, he knew there needed to be a place for New Yorkers to nap.
New York is »the city that never sleeps,« but a new »nap hotel« in Man – hattan’s Garment District is encouraging people to recharge at least once in a while. Called Nap York, it’s painted completely black – a small square of permanent nighttime – and it offers high-end »sleep pods« that busy urbanites can rent for as little as thirty minutes.
Owner and designer Neil Wong says the idea for the hotel came out of a late night of partying. When a friend missed the last train home to New Jersey at 4am, »he slept in Penn Station because he didn’t want to pay for a hotel,« says Wong. »That’s when I decided there needed to be a pay-by-the-hour place where you could nap.« Soon after, on a trip to Japan, Wong saw Tokyo’s famous capsule hotels, and decided a similar model could work in Manhattan.
Creating a suitable site for midday slumber in bustling midtown was a design challenge. Wong converted a 1920s building in line with some simple aesthetic goals: make it dark, and keep it natural. The interior, like the outside, is deep black, with an industrial style balanced by natural wood and hundreds of plants, including a vertical garden. The sound-resistant sleep pods are accented by »starry« ceilings, each handcrafted with 500 dimmable, fiber-optic lights.
Environmental sustainability was a priority throughout the project, which used only green materials, from non-toxic, low-VOC paint to zero--formaldehyde floors. »Everything from sheetrock to insulation is LEED certified,« says Wong. WaterSense compliant fixtures, including the DXV AT200 SpaLets, cut the building’s overall water consumption by 50 %.
Despite the name, Nap York is actually a multi-use space, with each floor dedicated to a different purpose. The ground story is a conveyor-belt café, a nod to the hotel’s Japanese influences. Above that is the sleep floor, followed by a level for yoga and meditation classes, and then a co-working office space. Topping it all, the roof itself is dotted with hammocks in warm months. The end result is »an oasis in the concrete jungle« – where even the most stressed New Yorker can squeeze in a few minutes of rejuvenation.
The roof is dotted with hammocks
NEIL WONG Owner, Designer Nap York
All our customers are in love with
the DXV spalets. They really do get
a lot of attention.«
What’s the first thing people notice about Nap York?
Our building is all black – it’s the blackest building in midtown Manhattan. To contrast the blackness, we put in over 200 plants, and there are more coming. We kept it as rough as possible, because nature is rugged.
How important was the environmental impact of the building?
I’m a big advocate of sustainable design and development. Some developers feel they have to allocate 20% more budget just to build green. I wanted this project to showcase that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to renovate a building from the 1920s into something sustainable.
You chose the DXV AT200 SpaLets – how did they suit your design concept?
Being a Japanese-inspired business, it was important to me to have the automatic toilets. We put a lot of work into the technology in our pods, so having technology in our bathrooms, too ... it’s some extra »wow« for our customers. It’s rare for a business in Manhattan to have these. It’s a cool feature.
What’s the reaction so far?
All our customers are in love with them! They really do get a lot of attention. That first impression, when it opens by itself – everybody says »wow!« Afterwards, people talk about the heated seat and the bidet – those are the features that stand out.
Were there other aspects of DXV and American Standard that appealed to you?
Well, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone talk about the deodorizer yet. Maybe later. I’m a little scared to push that button, actually! Really, this is the first project I intend to constantly update, and I feel like I can grow with DXV and American Standard in the future. They have an emphasis on sustainability, and everything we got from them is WaterSense compliant.
Was there a breakthrough idea for Nap York?
When we figured out how to clean the pods in less than one minute, that’s when everything else took off!
A small square of permanent nighttime, Nap York offers high-end
Being a Japanese-inspired business,