What Were They Thinking?

For a while now the entrance to the Standard East Village on the Bowery has been behind plywood, as the hotel renovated its ground floor to move its lobby into the neighboring townhouse and reconfigure the ground floor. I found myself in the area on Friday afternoon and was shocked to see how they modified the base of the tower designed by Carlos Zapata.

Here is the before condition, via Google Street View:

And here is the after, via my dumbphone:

So instead of keeping or continuing the language of the tower they purchased, the Standard opted to extend the blue storefront they pasted onto the townhouse around the old lobby, where it meets a new brick storefront, both appearing to sit in front of the glass walls from above. Beyond the totally odd juxtaposition of the modern tower and the brick and wood storefronts, the renovation covers up the stair that used to provide access to an elevated terrace on the back of the building. (Is the terrace gone? I'm not sure.) Whatever the intention (or the architect/designer, whoever that is), the hotel seems to be focusing on the eye-level experience of hotel guests and restaurant customers, assuming they'll never look up.

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