Event Design

5 Distinctive New Venues in 2016

Here are five of the most distinctive venues to open in the last year — from a former power station in Portugal to a glass-walled expanse 102 floors above Lower Manhattan.

It seems like a new event space opens every hour, but it’s rare to find a true attention grabber. Convene found five particularly distinct venues that opened in the last 12 months.

080-cnvm-dec16One World Observatory / New York City 

“See forever” is the motto of One World Observatory, the 102nd-floor public and event space atop New York City’s One World Trade Center, now the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The soaring, tri-level venue, which opened earlier this year, offers 360-degree views and 9,000 square feet of flexible space for up to 300 people. Catering is provided by Legends Hospitality. oneworldobservatory.com


Tejo Power Station / Lisbon

081-cnvm-dec16Built in 1909, Lisbon, Portugal’s Tejo Power Station supplied the city with electricity for decades. It closed for good in 1975 — but the complex’s brick-and-iron buildings were repurposed into an Electricity Museum in 1990. In 2016, a suite of galleries and meeting rooms opened as part of the growing MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology). The station’s industrial-style Turbine Hall can hold 200 people for theater-style events; its conference room accommodates 50; and the neon-colored Condenser Room is an atmospheric spot for events of up to 60 people. maat.pt/en/campus


082-cnvm-dec16MMousse Church Attic / Amsterdam

The attic of the former Armenian church in Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt neighborhood has been converted into meeting space by MMousse, a genre-defying Amsterdam design collective — and it certainly inspires. Nestled beneath the church’s curved ceilings are customizable worktables, chaise lounges topped by colorful pillows, and windows that offer views over the city’s medieval rooftops — as well as let in oodles of light. The room is offered through Spacebase, an aggregator of creative meeting spaces in Europe, and can fit between five and 80 people.  convn.org/mmousse

083-cnvm-dec16Artistry Floor at the Petersen Automotive Museum / Los Angeles

Once a Japanese department store called Seibu, the Petersen Automotive Museum is now home to a stunning collection of vehi-cles, from Bugattis to BMW Art Cars. Last winter, the Miracle Mile museum unveiled a bumper-to-bumper, $90-million renovation that added multiple levels of event space that intermingle with the museum’s exhib-its — including a 16,000-square-foot Artistry Floor with a projection wall. Renowned L.A. caterers the Drago Brothers provide food and beverage. petersen.org/private-events



Cantilever Room at the Henry B. Gonzáles Convention Center / San Antonio

San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzáles Convention Center debuted a $325-million renovation last spring that touched almost every part of the venue. While an outdoor pizza kitchen and a riverside Grotto are among the highlights, when it comes to more traditional meeting space, Room 220 — the 4,000-square-foot Canti- lever Room — is a particular feat. Per the room’s name, cantilevers suspend the tropical-hued space in such a way that it seems to float over Market Street. Partition walls and a variety of furniture allow the space to be configured in multiple ways, while built-in screens along the walls make the entire room “programmable.” sahbgcc.com/facilities/cantilever-room

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch is a writer who specializes in food and drink.