Refreshing Bathrooms in the St. James Building in NoMad

August 6, 2020

The bathrooms in the historic St. James building in NoMad have been gut-renovated and updated by Kew Management. Tenants and their guests now enjoy private non-gender amenities with up-to-date COVID-compliant technology for safety, including touch-free lighting, sinks, toilets, and hand dryers; improved ventilation; and handicapped accessibility on every floor. The new bathrooms are also more ecologically efficient. Eleven floors of this ambitious project are complete, with the final four scheduled to be finished in the Fall.

Kew enlisted the services of NoMad architect and interior designer, Barry Goralnick, who completely reconceived and redesigned the spaces. Goralnick worked with limited area to create four separate bathrooms per floor that fit perfectly with today’s culture and recommended safety protocols. He accomplished this while honoring the original architecture of the St. James, which was designed in 1896 by iconic architect Bruce Price (Goralnick also redesigned the elevators at Kew’s Townsend Building).

Goralnick took design inspiration from The St. James lobby – its vaulted ceiling with classical rosettes, and mirrors at each end of the vault that give the appearance that they continue endlessly. He reinterpreted the lobby’s rosettes into a gear motif. The forms are Classical, but the details are more industrial and hearken back to the era of the original St. James building of 1896.

The gear motif is found in the faucets, lighting, wallpaper, and St. James monogrammed hardware.  Large-scale porcelain tiles are modernized in scale and pattern to reflect the spirit of the building’s mosaics and complement the gear motif.


Goralnick Bathroom St James Building Nomad
Photographs: Alan Barry Photography; Lighting: Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company

Safety-Forward and Environmentally Conscious

The infrastructure was updated to be cleaner, more efficient, and more environmentally sound. Modernized venting and all new plumbing risers were integrated. High-touch surfaces were minimized with touch-free amenities for improved sanitation.

Eco-minded elements incorporated are automatic water limiting faucets, self-flushing water-saving toilets, state-of-the-art paperless hand dryers, and LED lights that are timed to turn off to avoid wasting energy.

The renovation provides four private all-gender bathrooms on every floor. Each floor has one bath that is ADA compliant.

Additionally, each floor now has a chilled water fountain with a spigot for filling water bottles that saves the need to recycle thousands of water bottles a year.

The end result is more than a simple cosmetic update of the existing bathrooms, it’s a completely rethought and reconstructed amenity for the St. James. Four private bathrooms per floor offer tenants and their guests optimal flexibility, privacy, and a better experience for all. Combined with thoughtful safety and eco-minded details, the St. James bathrooms are at the forefront of office building amenities in Manhattan.

The renovation of all bathrooms in the building is underway with eleven floors already completed and the final four well along to completion. The project is slated for completion by this Fall.

In today’s world where peace of mind and safety in the work place are paramount, tenants of the St. James building in NoMad can find a private, moment to revive and refresh.

Goralnick Bathroom St James Building Nomad
Photographs: Alan Barry Photography; Lighting: Barry Goralnick for Currey & Company