Element Hotel

Modern Trompe l’Oeil

This building is a joyful experiment with the Baroque painting technique of trompe l’oeil. Element is a fresh and innovative hotel brand that needed a facade to match—but the straightforward massing, layout, materials and budget for the building were non-negotiable. We turned to paint for the answer. The perfectly rectangular building is disrupted by a few cantilevering window units. The rest of the exterior is animated by painted shadows designed to trick the eye into seeing depth. Once a day the painted shadows line up with the natural shadows, but most of the time the curious effect turns heads as a memorable icon for Harrison.

  • Status: Built 2014
  • Location: Harrison, NJ
  • Size: 100,000 SF
  • Client: Ironstate Holdings, The Pegasus Group
  • Scope: SD-CD
  • Architect of Record: Minno & Waskow
  • Team: Matthias Hollwich, SBA Marc Kushner, AIA Robert May, Edwin Liu, Adam Hostetler