Nobutaka Ashihara, Dawson Design Associates renovate Affinia 50

Affinia 50, located in the heart of New York City’s Midtown neighborhood (on 50th Street at Lexington Avenue), is currently undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation that is scheduled for completion this November 2013. The renovation encompasses the entire Midtown Manhattan boutique hotel, including all guestrooms and suites, as well as all public spaces, including the lobby, second floor Club Room and corridors. The hotel remains fully operational during the renovation process.

Affinia 50’s $18-million to $20-million transformation pays homage to its surroundings. The boutique hotel’s overall design offers more of an open layout, created to reflect a city-smart space. This will be the first renovation for the property in 10 years.

Re-imagined by architect Nobutaka Ashihara and international interior design firm Dawson Design Associates, the property’s modern look will be achieved through textures, woods and classic lines. Upon completion, the lobby will have a color palette of black, grey, white and pops of red juxtaposed against the tones of statement furniture created by rich woods.


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To further enhance the feeling of “being at home,” Dawson Design Associates worked to curate a collection of artwork, all in varying mediums, by local New York artists. The property will showcase the work of Montserrat Daubon and Pedro Villalta (sculpture and painting), Lindsey Wilner (street inspired abstract art), David Smith (blown glass), John Platt (paintings) and Wayne Takenaka (photography).

Upon completion, Affinia 50 will have 251 redesigned hotel guestrooms, 41 of them added during the renovation, and 100 rooms with kitchens and 19 with private terraces with Manhattan skyline views. Guest rooms will offer wireless high-speed Internet, cable TV with web browser, in-room safe (laptop compatible), dry cleaning/laundry services, signature Affinia Beds, choice of Affinia Dream Pillows, and bath amenities by Comfort Zone, the Italian skincare line.

The redesign of Affinia 50’s Club Room will also incorporate new access through the lobby by way of a stainless steel-and-stone staircase. The space will be adorned in hard woods and lush carpets. Several sections make the living room-like space ideal for small groups to gather for a private reception event. There will be a fireplace in the Club Room’s Den. The Club Room will be able to accommodate intimate gatherings or corporate meetings from 15 to 20 people.

Affinia 50 is a residential hotel in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, located next to Grand Central, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center and the United Nations. Affinia 50 is owned and operated by Denihan Hospitality Group, a 50-year old owner and operator of boutique hotels with a portfolio that includes The James and Affinia brands, in addition to a number of luxury properties including The Surrey and The Benjamin in New York City.

Established in 1987 by Andrea Dawson Sheehan, Dawson Design Associates is a Seattle-based, full service design firm specializing in renovations, repositionings and new construction in the hospitality industry.