A 4,000-square-foot rooftop bar and lounge located at the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown, Manhattan.




Located on the 30th floor of the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown, Upstairs is a penthouse level bar and lounge surrounded by open skies and New York City skyscrapers. The rooftop is used by hotel guests during the day as an urban oasis, away from the bustling street below, with views of the East River and the Chrysler building. At night, theatrical lights and strings of incandescent bulbs float overhead and create an intimate, sensual mood—a fresh spin on old New York glamour.

As a collaboration with architect Frank Denner, lighting designer Brian Orter and Pentasia Design, the project draws on hyper-modern and neo-gothic styles, reflecting the looming skyscrapers surrounding, and deliberately shying away from relaxed, lounge-style furniture typical of most rooftop bars. Taking the express elevator, guests arrive in one of two lobbies, both recalling Art Deco influences. The first lobby is a classic wine cellar, and its ceiling gathers in the center of the room to form a sensual, sculptural column. The second lobby is a grand, onyx-clad room whose ceiling is composed of an abstracted branch-like pattern floating above.

The bar itself is made up of bent bronze panels, embossed and die-cut with a complex backlit pattern. The lighting emanating from within the bar sets the mood with its low amber glow. Inspired by the Seagram Tower, the metal panels on the wall are clad with embossed bronze and mixed with steel in a gunmetal finish. The trellis and cabinetries are made of reclaimed dark walnut with an oil finish. The bathrooms are also made of the same dark walnut, with enclosed spaces accented by lights made of bronze.

The lighting throughout the bar is layered from 30-feet above roof level, and each layer contributes to a different experience of the space. The theatrical lighting casts a leaf pattern through the retractable glass enclosure (which encloses and insulates the rooftop year-round), and creates a feeling of intimacy, as if under a tree canopy. The next layer of light, the incandescent strings, provide an ambient lighting adjusted to the time of day. The street lamps provide a low, warm glow for the seated guests while the backlit bar glows between the ground and counter height. Living green walls, designed to create a garden landscape feel, surround seating areas and cascade down alongside embossed brass panels, framing the cityscape with lush green plants and LED lights that twinkle in the night sky.