Michaelis Boyd has been synonymous with exceptional London architecture since 1995; now it seems the team has crossed the pond… And traversed the Brooklyn Bridge into the heart of one of Brooklyn’s trendiest neighbourhoods, where The Williamsburg Hotel stands eight stories proud – an architectural love song to the area’s rich industrial history – beautifully designed by our local London lads.
The hotel has now flung its doors open to guests and locals alike, first introducing its richly tiled guestrooms and classy-cosy lobby bar whoch will soon be followed by a rooftop pool, water tower bar and the neighbourhood’s first grand ballroom. Although Brooklyn has gained a bit of a reputation as the stomping ground of 'faux-hemians' and beard-toting wannabes, everything at The Williamsburg is actually, authentically cool – nothing tries too hard, it just IS.
The hotel’s exterior structure nods to its industrial past, incorporating classic red brick, glass and Corten Steel. Speaking very much to Michaelis Boyd’s strengths (their uncanny ability to strike a balance between modernism and historicism), the building is seemingly an architectural oxymoron; both conspicuous and inconspicuous relative to its surroundings.
The dramatic entrance leads through cascading stairs into a soaring bar whose art installation stops you in your tracks. Street artist Eric Rieger has strung thousands of strands of multi-coloured yarn which crowns the bar. Other design highlights include custom toile-inspired wallpaper designed by Beastie Boy Mike Diamond featuring quintessential Brooklyn scenes and figures—from a Nathan’s Famous hot dog to a group of Hasidic Jewish men, to the late, great Notorious B.I.G.
Guestrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with Manhattan, Brooklyn and East River views and design schemes vary from white-washed timber walls to deep grey distressed finishes with bespoke leather, brass, marble, and textured details at every turn. Rooms are thoughtfully designed with elements like a sitting table doubling as a tray for room service and open-windowed showers to create a loft-like space.
With Heritage Equity Partners at the helm, The Williamsburg Hotel comes complete with a true Brooklyn soul. Led by Toby Moskovits and Michael Lichtenstein, the development firm has been a major player in Brooklyn real estate for decades with family roots in the area. “Our goal was to create a hotel that embodies Williamsburg. I grew up here and Brooklyn is in my DNA, so it was important to construct a hotel not only for guests, but also for the neighborhood,” says Toby Moskovits, CEO of Heritage Equity Partners. “We wanted to bring a bit of elegance to Brooklyn, while still being warm and welcoming.”
This hotel has hit the nail on the head, and Michaelis Boyd have nailed the design. We are thrilled to see their work reaching audiences further afield and can’t wait to see what other projects they have in store for us this year.
The Williamsburg Hotel; thewilliamsburghotel.com
Michaelis Boyd; michaelisboyd.com