LE COUCOU AT 11 HOWARD - MANHATTAN, NY

RFR Holding / RFR Hotels / Roman and Williams
Winners

Conceived to break the conventions of the existing building, Roman & Williams have designed a restaurant with raw brickwork that has been whitewashed, pewtered steel chandeliers and thoughtfully layered materiality. With the external Howard Street providing a prelude to the atmosphere of the restaurant, a sense of ease is cultivated through custom wood planters filled with climbing vines of jasmine and rose that frame the entry. A bright neon Le Coucou sign features the playful outline of a bird. The dining room is a box within a box, featuring sets of triple-hung glass windows that form a secondary façade within the space creating an experience of permeable boundaries that unfold layer by layer. The borders of the room are defined by a circuit of banquettes covered in blue grey mohair, paired with armchairs covered in earthy olive green velvet upholstery.

Discussing the project, judges noted: “Rich, intricate layers create an incredibly romantic and memorable space at Le Coucou. The restaurant bares a strong continuity with the hotel although it stands very much on its own. It is atmospheric, well curated, sophisticated and shows remarkable restraint.”