Name

Hakubai

Location

New York City

Type

Hospitality

Size

4,295 SF

Status

Completed

Project nr

2207A

For the 50th anniversary and 2023 reopening of the historic Kitano Hotel, Modellus Novus partnered with the hotel’s founding family and The Prince Hotels to present a new vision for Japanese hospitality in New York City. Tucked away below the renovated lobby, Hakubai is the opposite of big hotel dining. Unexpectedly intimate in scale, it captures the essence of the hotel’s timeless character, celebrating quality, detail and meaningful conversation. The restaurant design aims to feel fresh, but also as it had been there all along. Spaces nurture meaningful dialogue, as details express care rather than flamboyance.

Hakubai offers two dining bars, a cocktail bar, 20-seat dining area, and two private dining rooms, one of which can be integrated into the main dining room. It is a destination for hotel guests and New Yorkers alike, a steady rock in the city that so often feels like a fast flowing river. Hakubai’s distinct spaces are unified by unfilled travertine floors and a metal grille ceiling, as wall paneling modulates between sapele, bronze and mirror. Leaning on a considered Modernist cannon with designs referencing the 1940s through the 60s, Modellus Novus ties Hakubai to a different time of beautiful, understated modern dining spaces.

Photos by Adrian Gaut

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Noguchi Sculpture

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Rotating Ikebana flower installations

11

Course Kaiseki meal

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Windows

63

Sapele wall panels

2,177

Square feet of grill ceiling

12

Feet below street level

1957

Year of Gen'ichirō Inokuma's featured painting

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