Material: See A Penny

According to Eric Cheong, vice president of New York City-based firm Roman and Williams, working with the Standard Hotel team to create its latest property and amenities (in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan) meant turning simple everyday elements into something extraordinary. So it shouldn't have been much of a surprise when they decided to cover the floor of the Standard Grill's dining room with an iconic symbol of Americana: the penny.

"The overall idea was that this was to be a traditional American restaurant, and copper is a very traditional material," explains Cheong. But it wouldn’t have been practical to use large-scale copper flooring. So they reverted to the penny.

"It adds levity to the project," says Cheong, and it serves as a testament to the way Roman and Williams works—in materiality rather than conceptuality. The firm tends to focus on using familiar materials in new ways so that it seems fresh and original.

The pennies—obtained from a currency vendor—were laid up on a clear adhesive film, then applied face down onto wet epoxy grout. When the grout dried, the clear adhesive film was removed. The sub-floor is a lightweight concrete. The pennies cover 1,650 sq. ft. and can be cleaned with regular floor-cleaner.

The Standard Hotel and Grill was Roman and Williams' second project for Andre Balazs Properties. The hotel bridges over the High Line—the section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line that was redesigned and opened as a public park in June 2009.

The Standard Grill also opened this past June.

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