Firmdale opens second NYC hotel designed by Kit Kemp, Stonehill & Taylor

The new 97,000 square foot building in Midtown Manhattan has interiors by Firmdale co-owner and designer Kit Kemp and architecture by Stonehill & Taylor.

The Whitby Hotel is the latest property from London-based boutique hotel group Firmdale Hotels in New York City. The new building in Midtown Manhattan has interiors by Firmdale co-owner and designer Kit Kemp and architecture by Stonehill & Taylor.

In keeping with the surrounding architecture of the neighborhood—in particular, nearby Fifth Avenue—the structure has a limestone façade set with steel-framed windows. According to architect Paul Taylor, The Whitby has an architecture that fits with the neighborhood, but the big windows and numerous terraces offer glimpses of the activity and life within the property.

Several suite balconies and terraces lend the 18-story building a distinctive shape that gradually scales back as the building rises. The hotel has 86 guestrooms, including 10 suites. One suite occupies the entire penthouse floor with two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, completely surrounded by outdoor spaces.


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To accommodate the public spaces, three floors of below-ground programming were created, making the site one of the deepest excavations in Midtown Manhattan. The subterranean space includes a Dolby-certified theater and function space that can host public and private screenings.

On the ground floor, the hotelier and architect developed several distinct yet interlocking spaces. Here, the Drawing Room—a restaurant with a 30-foot-long bar—connects to The Orangery, an extension of the restaurant with a vaulted ceiling, skylight and floor-to-ceiling glass partitions. A connecting courtyard houses a traditional English garden, hanging lanterns and a decorative fireplace.

The hotel, located at 18 West 56th Street, marks Stonehill & Taylor’s second  collaboration with Firmdale Hotels following their work on the Crosby Street Hotel.

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