There's No Place Like NoMad

May 20, 2019

World’s Tallest Modular Hotel to be Built in NoMad

Rendering of AC by Marriott by Danny Forster Architecture; Via The Real Deal

The NoMad neighborhood is soon to be the site of the tallest modular hotel in the world. Reports recently surfaced that a new AC by Marriott hotel is slated for development at 842 Sixth Avenue, a plot of land in NoMad, adjoining the former site of the infamous Haymarket,  controlled by the Chun family.

When completed, the new hotel will house 168 rooms, topping out at 360 feet. While the height might not seem that impressive compared to the numerous other skyscrapers rising in the neighborhood, the significance of the AC is that it will be the tallest structure ever built using modular construction—a method by which modules are constructed off-site, then transported and assembled at the build site. The current record holder is the CitizenM New York Bowery Hotel on the Lower East Side, which opened just last fall, topping out at 246 feet, only about two-thirds the height of the planned AC.

A module of AC by Marriott; Via The Real Deal

While modular construction has been around for some time, it has mainly been used for low-rise structures; only in the past few years have developers begun using the method to build upward. While the new process is not without its skeptics, proponents of modular construction hail it as a game-changer. At a time when building costs are skyrocketing, modular buildings can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to build a comparable structure by conventional methods—at a fraction of the cost as well.

The new AC Hotel in NoMad may very well be a case in point. Current financing for the projected 26-story hotel is a modest $65 million. The individual modules are slated to be built in a factory in Poland before assembly begins this fall. According to Marriott International, the new building should only take about 90 days to assemble, and the fully finished hotel should be open for business by late 2020. By the time the building reaches its full height and becomes the world’s tallest modular building, CitizenM will have held that record for less than two years.

Modular construction may or may not represent the future of architecture—but with Marriott alone having already built 31 modular hotels successfully, one can scarcely write it off as a fad. Time will be the tell as to how these new buildings look when completed—or how they stand the test of time. For now, at least, Marriott’s plans have put the spotlight once again on the rapidly developing Nomad neighborhood.