Architecture and design studio Michaelis Boyd spearheaded the interior design of Moxy Lower East Side, while Rockwell Group designed two of its restaurants and Stonehill Taylor oversaw the architectural works.
The ambition was to push the playful design of the Moxy brand even further than its sister venues, reflecting the vibrancy of the Bowery, where the Lower East Side meets SoHo.
The 303-room hotel brings together different styles and narratives to create a “spirit of the absurd”.
“We wanted to create a quirky yet stylish play on the absurd,” said Rina Kukaj, NY director at Michaelis Boyd.
“The goal was a design that’s up to date but nods to the Bowery’s past, with a good dose of Moxy’s trademark whimsy and elements of surprise,” she told Dezeen.
Moxy is a subsidiary of hotel chain Marriott International, aimed at a younger market more focused on modern lifestyle experiences than traditional forms of luxury.
Developed by real-estate company Lightstone, the hotel features four restaurant and bar venues, a lobby lounge with a bar and all-day cafe, and three studios that can be used for meetings, co-working or hospitality.
“The Lower East Side has always been iconically cool,” said Mitchell Hochberg, president of Lightstone. “We saw it as the next logical frontier for Moxy.”
“People come to the neighbourhood to indulge their thirst for discovery, and they’ll get that at the Moxy too.”
In the lobby, a mix of seating types create opportunities for lounging, working or socialising, dotted amongst details that include game tables, overhead plants, “hipster animals” and chandeliers featuring 3D-printed pin-up girls.
“We wanted to create a contemporary, leafy oasis,” said Michaelis Boyd co-founder, Alex Michaelis.
“As you walk through the lobby, wherever your eye takes you, you’ll see things happening,” he told Dezeen.
“Hanging plantings overhead, a circular pattern on the terrazzo floor, and dome light fixtures that shine very softly down towards you. Guests are almost the artist at play, the focal point of the experience.”
Silver Lining is a lobby-adjacent piano lounge, furnished with blue velvet banquettes and curtains, and featuring imagery that references the life and work of Bowery’s one-time resident, Andy Warhol.
“Silver Lining is sumptuous and sophisticated; it feels really intimate,” said Kukaj.
Rockwell Group took charge of Sake No Hana, a Japanese restaurant that combines references to New York’s 1980s punk scene and Japanese street culture.
Kimono-inspired tapestries and lantern-like pendants light hang from the ceiling, while a pair of symmetric curving staircases wrap a blue-tiled bar.
Loosie’s – a basement bar and club – is Rockwell Group’s other contribution. This dark, atmospheric space centres around an “exploded disco ball” chandelier.
On the 16th floor, Michaelis Boyd designed The Highlight Room to feel like a 19th-century pleasure garden. A palm tree is at the centre of this rooftop bar.
“We wanted to recreate this sense of a hidden garden amidst the rooftops,” said Kukaj.
“Hanging plants and fabric lanterns sway from the ceiling above the bar, foliage springs from hidden corners and, at the centre, a majestic tree spreads its branches towards all four corners of the room.”
Moxy Lower East Side is completed by simple and pared-back guest rooms. There are only a few design flourishes here – like the Hollywood-style lighting and coloured glass screens.
The Moxy brand has been in New York since 2018, when it opened the Yabu Pushelberg-designed Moxy Times Square.
Rockwell Group has created restaurants for all four New York venues and oversaw the entire design of Moxy East Village.
For Michaelis Boyd, Moxy Lower East Side is its first completed collaboration with the brand. The London and New York-based studio has previously created interiors for Soho House and The Williamsburg Hotel.
“We’re known for our work with Soho House and although the communal spaces of the hotel are open to the public, in places we wanted to create the intimate feel of a member’s club,” added Kukaj.
“As for the guest rooms, they are designed as the quiet moment within the hotel, a step back from all the activity,” she added.
Moxy Lower East Side opened in October and was the venue for Heidi Klum’s 2022 Halloween Party – where the supermodel memorably dressed in a head-to-toe worm costume.
The photography is by Michael Kleinberg.
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