Design Hotels | Vol. 007 / by MBBD

Case Studies

11 Howard
New York City, NY

Located at the borders of SoHo, the Lower East Side, and Tribeca. The hotel’s guiding principle is “conscious hospitality”.  This ethos is realised through the thoughtful consideration of design, service, and the wider community.

The design of the hotel is a fusion of Danish minimalism and New York vernacular.  The interiors consist of natural materials, subdued colours, polished plaster walls, plush rugs, and furniture collected from around the world.  The hotel is adorned with meticulously curated art objects, many of which have been crafted in collaboration with world-renounced contemporary artists.  This attention to design and detail creates a warm, lived-in atmosphere – a place to feel at home while away.By embracing and engaging with new technologies,


11 Howard is able to offer an ultra modern brand of service. Service that is “never in the way but always there”.  Through a smart phone or in-room tablet, guests can self check-in, request concierge services, order room service delivery, and even curate the contents of their minibar, which includes healthy or dietary compliant options.

11 Howard also has a social consciousness to the wider community.  The hotel has partnered with a number of non-profit organisations including the Global Poverty Project, whose mission is a world without extreme poverty by 2030; FEED Projects, which provides school lunches in 63 countries; and Groundswell, a program that mentors underserved, marginalised, and economically disadvantaged youth through public art projects.  A portion of each reservation is donated towards these worthy causes by the hotel.


the blond

The food and beverage offerings at 11 Howard are world class, frequented not only by hotel guests but also by New York City socialites.  From an outside perspective the hotel’s two offerings appear to operate independent to the hotel and have their own unique brands. 

The hotel’s restaurant, Le Coucou, is collaboration between one of the city’s most acclaimed restaurateurs, Stephen Starr and internationally acclaimed chef/restaurateur Daniel Rose.  The pair have created a cavernous and comfortable serving a menu of simple yet refined dishes reflecting Rose’s personal vision of classic French cuisine aimed at bringing great food and conviviality to the table. An exceptional list of wines and spirits, paired with the utmost of hospitality, takes dining at Le Coucou to the next level.

The interiors of Le Coucou are a contrast to the clean Scandinavian lines of the hotel, which help to give the restaurant its own unique identity. 

On possession of the space the restaurateurs stripped away all of the years of renovations to expose the existing raw brick space.  At the room’s crown, a grand procession of pewtered-steel chandeliers hang from the exposed concrete of the existing ceiling, lighting the room with a glow from hand-blown glass shades.  This considered and conscious approach to design ensures guests enjoy a spectacular meal in the most charming of settings and is the reason Le Coucou has become one of NYC’s most beloved new food destinations.

The Blond, the hotel’s cocktail bar is accessed by the general public through impressive  

arched windows on Howard Street, or through the foyer for hotel guests.By day the bar welcomes guests to work, mingle, and relax.  Throughout the day the space transforms from light and open to sensual and inviting.

The blond is a stylish place to kick off a night in New York, as the eponymous blonde timbers, velvet banquettes, smoky mirrors, low lighting, and gold accents lend a seductive edge to the space.  Like the hotel the space is filled with artwork from renounced internationally artists, most notably a series of bronze animal masks that glint in the shadows.  The kitchen is shared with Le Coucou so food is available and fine dining quality.  At night, downtown DJs play thumping dance and hip hop music, and the dance floor becomes the main attraction.