Offering an urban beach getaway with a fresh view of New York City, The new Rockaway Hotel in Queens stands six stories tall and is clad in architectural-grade zinc wall panels. The zinc from which the panels were fabricated was from RHEINZINK America
Inc. of Woburn, MA. In addition to contributing to the hotel's overall aesthetics, the zinc offers a level of resiliency that few cladding materials can match.
The Rockaway Hotel encompasses 72,000 square feet. It has 46 guest rooms, seven residential units and more than 25,000 square feet of hospitality space. It is located just a block from Rockaway Beach and is part of the area's redevelopment following Hurricane
Sandy in 2012. Today, the boutique hotel welcomes visitors and residents seeking relaxed luxury and resort-worthy amenities in an inviting, accessible neighborhood hub.
Inspired by the history and fabric of the established beachfront neighborhood, Morris Adjmi Architects said, "Essential to local character, the humble and eclectic bungalows found
throughout the Rockaways were a key reference for the hotel's massing and façade. The mid-rise height of the new six-story building was carefully considered to avoid overshadowing the small historic clapboard houses nearby and zinc paneling
was selected to echo their color and form."
Working closely with the architectural team early in the hotel's conception, RHEINZINK and fabricator B&B Sheet Metal presented samples of RHEINZINK-prePATINA zinc's
two colors: graphite-grey and blue-grey. These products are specially processed to achieve the natural, pre-weathered patina during production. Over time, their natural finish will continue to patina.
For centuries, European buildings have relied on zinc's natural beauty, corrosion-resistant performance and proven longevity. Made in Germany, RHEINZINK's architectural zinc was introduced to North America in 1992.
Morris Adjmi Architects was appreciative of the material's European heritage and time-tested performance, noted Tom Hessler, technical director at B&B Sheet Metal. He added, "They liked the color and texture of RHEINZINK's material; its compatibility
in saltwater, ocean environments; and its long lifespan."
"Suitable for The Rockaway Hotel's coastal climate, RHEINZINK's material requires minimal maintenance and a potential lifespan 100 years or more. At the end of its use on the hotel, the natural zinc material is 100% recyclable," said Mike Dell'Olio, RHEINZINK's
regional sales manager serving New York. "Throughout the hotel's lifespan, the zinc wall cladding's dynamic exterior appearance will evolve as formed by the Rockaways' unique local, coastal climate."
Taking additional cues from the vertically joined and horizontally lapped siding on local neighborhood homes, the upper portion of the hotel showcases prePATINA graphite-grey zinc installed vertically and blue-grey installed horizontally on the lower,
larger portion. Matching RHEINZINK materials also were used to wrap the hotel's outside corner posts, for the metal coping in the pool area and for the reveal around the windows.
To ensure the intended aesthetic and weathertight performance
for The Rockaway Hotel, B&B fabricated RHEINZINK-prePATINA zinc material into easily installed panel sizes. Nearly 7,000 square feet of 1mm graphite-grey was manufactured as 12-inch-wide panels with 1-inch-high ridges to create the continuous,
corrugated effect. More than 13,600 square feet of blue-grey was cut to 8-inch-wide panels for the horizontal lapped look.
Not only did B&B collaborate with RHEINZINK on the fabrication and samples, but it also provided the shop drawings and submittals to the architect. In addition, B&B's associates met on site with installing contractor Adamex Construction to ensure
accurate field measurements and appropriate installation methods.
"We take a hands-on approach to support both ends of a project – the architect and the installer. A lot of fabricators don't do what we do," said Hessler. "We go the extra nine yards to help out and make sure the project is done right."
Dell'Olio added, "It's very nicely done. The thoughtful integration of RHEINZINK to this structure truly adds to the character of this section of Queens."
Within, the interiors also were designed to reflect the spirit of the Rockaways. Adjmi Architects described these as "casual and approachable with a sense of lighthearted novelty. Open concept plans and honest materials like wood, concrete, and wicker
were selected to cultivate a cool and comfortable environment. The lobby in particular was designed to nurture a slower pace, intended to function as a familiar living room where guests would be happy to hang out. Abundant live greenery was incorporated
throughout to soften the ambiance and add natural vibrance to both indoor and exterior spaces."
Opened in May 2020, The Rockaway Hotel currently hosts a busy schedule of events and entertainment for both visitors and residents to enjoy – from live music and DJs to the Women's Surf Film Festival, from rotating guest chefs to daily yoga classes.
The hotel's website says it offers "something for everyone. Families flock to Jacob Riis Park and the remnants of Fort Tilden, a decommissioned WWII artillery battery. Shoppers and foodies love exploring the boardwalk's concession booths and vendor stalls,
while surfers have access to New York City's only designated surfing beaches. Bird lovers and outdoorsy types can't get enough of the salty, marshy Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is home to 325 bird species each spring and fall. In the heart of
it all lies The Rockaway Hotel."