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.
Le Coucou at 11 Howard was selected as the winner for not only its strong continuity with the hotel but also for standing alone as a “romantic canvas to beautiful food.” Discussing the project, judges noted: “Rich, intricate layers create an incredibly romantic and memorable space at Le Coucou. It is atmospheric, well curated, sophisticated and shows remarkable restraint.”