Let me start this interview with a confession. I am a Joe Ginsberg fan. I have seen his work and there is not one painting, chair, bench or envelope that I do not like. So – if this reads as if it was written by a groupie – in face of full disclosure – you would be correct.
I frequently meet smart, talented and charming people and it is definitely a personal pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with them about their passions and their pleasures, their plans and frustrations. I recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Joe Ginsberg, a renaissance man with talents that span the worlds of art and artisan, designer and philosopher. He paints and sculpts, designs furniture and fabrics, and takes empty spaces – from hotel lobbies to town houses and metropolitan lofts and transforms them into environments where we want to “be.”
A New Yorker since birth, Ginsberg studied and earned degrees at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the School of Visual Arts, New York University and Pratt Institute. As a member of the Pratt faculty he taught techniques of printmaking. Ginsberg has carved a unique niche in the world of art and design and hoteliers lucky enough to grab his interest and convince him to design their interiors – should consider themselves (and their guests) very fortunate.
The Marmara Park Avenue Designed by Joe Ginsberg
Converted from a less-than-functional 1927 office building and bankrupt condominium, this new property is an extension of the Marmara brand, best known in Turkey. Started in 1978, the Marmara Collection currently includes hotels in Turkey (The Marmara Taksin, Pera, Sisli, Antalya, Bodrun) plus an event venue, Esma Sultan Mansion and two properties in Manhattan (301 East 94th Street and East 114 East 32nd Street).
The Marmara Collection is founded on the concept of Innovation – so Ginsberg was a natural choice to develop this property into a “one of a kind” experience. Ginsberg is inspired by nature (and will even travel to Namibia to find it), personal experiences in New York City (including a photo collage of his parking tickets), and beautiful women (his staff looks like they just stepped out of Vogue Magazine).
Joe Ginsberg Designed Lobby
Mamara Park Avenue Hotel, New York City
The Ginsberg designed Marmara space is perfect for guests looking for extended visits in Manhattan. Many of the rooms feature marble kitchen countertops, state-of-the moment appliances including Fisher and Paykel dishwashers, full refrigerators plus washers/dryers. Bathrooms are spacious and attractive with Kohler bathtubs, and Waterworks faucets. Sleeping on 100 percent cotton bed sheets and bespoke towels from Turkey make this a room that you never want to leave. The property also offers guests an indoor swimming pool, exercise room and Turkish Hamman spa space.
Joe Ginsberg Designed Lobby Bar and Fireplace
Shades of Grey and Silver
This 128-key boutique hotel is located in a NYC mixed-zone that includes residential, commercial and medical services. Materials that transformed this pedestrian office building into a work of art include hand-blown glass, hand-forged and sculpted metals, elegant hand-carved birds, seamless Carrara and limestone walls, brass-inlaid terrazzo flooring and reclaimed wood ceilings. Visitors should look for the bronze entry door, a brass pendant, cast limestone concierge desks and hand-embroidered banquettes. Other Ginsberg accoutrements include: a hammered mirrored polished stainless steel fireplace, intimate lounge space, a waterfall coffee table – all adding up to space that creates tranquility in the midst of Manhattan’s cacophony.
Joe Ginsberg Designed Art and Accommodations
Guests fortunate enough to secure a suite reservation at the Marmara Park Avenue get to experience Ginsberg designed wallpaper themed on the restoration of the Third Avenue Bridge. Customized details throughout the space include Ginsberg original art on the walls, custom designed contemporary furniture and fixtures, and other amenities that combine New York sophistication with a unique understanding of what serenity means to frequent urban travelers.
Clients include Donna Karan, Ian Schrager, Levine Builders, OMA-Rem Koolhaas, Orlando Diaz, Marmara Hotel Group, Scoop NYC and Vanguard Construction.
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