'A love letter to Brooklyn': Michaelis Boyd design hotel steeped in history

In Alex Michaelis, we found a kindred spirit who helped us develop a voice and design aesthetic for Brooklyn that embraces both an industrial history and an elegant soul
– Michael Lichtenstein

Architecture practice Michaelis Boyd have designed an eight-storey boutique hotel in the heart of Brooklyn, described as “a sincere love song” to the industrial heritage of the New York neighbourhood.

The 150-room Williamsburg Hotel has opened on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 10th St – a site once home to wooden water tower factory. Brick, glass and Corten steel have been heavily used in construction to honour the building’s roots, and a replica wooden tower will soon open on the rooftop.

Inside, the design schemes vary from white-washed timber walls to deep grey distressed finishes with bespoke leather, brass, marble, and textured details.

The designers have decorated the hotel with custom-made wallpaper designed by rapper Mike Diamond, a founding member of Hip Hop collective the Beastie Boys, for his house in the neighbourhood. This depicts quintessential local references, from the Notorious B.I.G to a Nathan’s Famous hot dog.

Other collaborators on the project include street artist Eric Rieger, who has strung thousands of strands of multi-coloured yarn over the hotel bar.

The hotel will open in phases, beginning with the guestrooms and lobby bar. A restaurant called Harvey, run by chef Adam Leonti, will make its debut in the next few months, followed by a rooftop pool, the neighbourhood’s first grand ballroom and a bar by the water tower.

“Our goal was to create a hotel that embodies Williamsburg,” said Toby Moskovits, CEO of developer Heritage Equity Partners. “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 neighbourhood. We wanted to bring a bit of elegance to Brooklyn, while still being warm and welcoming.”

Describing the choice of architect, Heritage partner Michael Lichtenstein added: “As a second generation developer with deep roots in the neighbourhood, the discovery of [studio founder] Alex Michaelis was a key part of this journey. In Alex, we found a kindred spirit who helped us develop a voice and design aesthetic for Brooklyn that embraces both an industrial history and an elegant soul."

The Williamsburg  Brooklyn  New York  Michaelis Boyd  Beastie Boys  Mike Diamond  architecture  Eric Rieger  hotel design 
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Architecture practice Michaelis Boyd have designed an eight-storey boutique hotel in the heart of Brooklyn, described as “a sincere love song” to the industrial heritage of the New York neighbourhood. The 150-room Williamsburg Hotel has opened on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 10th St – a site once home to wooden water tower factory. Brick, glass and Corten steel have been heavily used in construction to honour the
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Street artist Eric Rieger has strung thousands of strands of multi-coloured yarn over the hotel bar / Annie Schlechter
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