DeSimone Designs Tallest Modular Hotel in the United States

Press Releases

October 9, 2018

Photo Credit: Chris Cooper

DeSimone Consulting Engineers, a leading structural engineering firm with offices worldwide, completed the design of CitizenM Bowery, the tallest modular hotel in the United States. Located in Lower East Side, Manhattan, the 21-story building measures approximately 100,000 square feet with 300 modular guestrooms and an assortment of hotel amenities.

In collaboration with Concrete Architectural Associates and Stephen B. Jacobs Group, the hotel includes a rooftop bar and lounge, a bistro-style restaurant and coworking space on the ground level, and a 4,000-square-foot plaza.

This project is citizenM’s second hotel in New York, following the opening of their Times Square property in 2014.

DeSimone’s design team was challenged not only to deliver the tallest modular hotel in the United States, but also to fit the structure inside a building envelope originally developed for a cast-in place concrete structure, while ensuring that it met local code requirements.

The switch to a modular system resulted in a divided building comprised of three main structural sections. The lowest section up to the fourth floor remained cast-in-place concrete to maintain a previously designed amenity spaces in the lower levels. The fourth-floor concrete slab is 36-inches-thick with spans measuring up to 38 feet that functions as a transfer slab to support the modular levels. The 15 stories of hotel modules rise from this floor. The nineteenth floor up to the roof is framed with structural steel to provide open spaces at the upper amenity levels. Throughout the building a standalone concrete core and a blade shear wall between the two northern modules act as the building’s lateral system.

Executing design and construction created additional challenges. The modular field connections had to withstand large forces produced by a tall building, provide sufficient field tolerances, avoid interference with adjacent modules, and provide room to assemble the modules in the field.

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to work on this unique project,” said Benjamin Downing, Managing Principal for DeSimone in New Haven, CT. “The project team faced numerous design challenges, but we resolved these quickly and efficiently to help realize the tallest modular hotel in the nation.”