Every collaboration needs to finds a rhythm to reach success. So when it came to choose a designer for the Wall Street Hotel in New York’s Financial District, Jeffrey Dagowitz, founding partner and principal of development company Actium, didn’t have to look far for someone he knew he would work well with: his wife, Liubasha Rose, founder and creative director of Rose Ink Workshop.
The duo have joined forces over the years, but the recently opened project marks the first large-scale collaboration the couple has seen through from concept to completion—a timeline that spanned three and a half years and saw the birth of their three children.
The pair worked closest during the design phase of the project, which entailed gut renovating and converting a 100-year-old office building into a 180-key property that embraces the future of its neighborhood while respecting the historic legacy of its site. “In our case, the meetings never stopped—sometimes we would be talking about ideas at 7 a.m., sometimes 10 p.m.,” says Dagowitz. “It is hard for the developer to call the designer five times per day on little-yet-important items, but if it’s one team and everyone is in it together and it’s more than business, then it’s a different relationship and the product has a different feel.”
That product, which opened in June, is “the beacon for a transformation of Wall Street,” Rose notes. “[The neighborhood] has historically been associated with a high-charged, masculine energy with dark, narrow streets and fortress-like buildings. This property is the new, warmer Wall Street—airy and welcoming with a lot of glass at the ground floor, warm yellow awnings, and canopies with flowers and greenery wrapping the building’s three façades.”
“This project felt very personal every step of the way,” Rose adds. “Firstly, New York has been my home for years and contributing to its pool of great hotels has been inspiring. Also, it’s one thing to make yourself and your client proud, but to have my husband so integrated in the process made me work extra hard to make sure the project was a success.” (In addition to Rose Ink’s design expertise, the residentially inspired Wall Street Hotel came to fruition thanks to architecture by Stonehill Taylor, F&B outlets by Charles & Co., and branding from Pandiscio Green.)
Fortunately, the couple sees eye to eye when it comes to how things should appear. “We are very much in step aesthetically and are both obsessed with hotels, brands, and the stories they tell,” says Rose. So, it comes as no surprise that Dagowitz and Rose also count the same corner of the hotel as their favorite space. Drenched in natural light and boasting two-story high ceilings, the lobby lounge, or living room, “is such a grand yet intimate space, with beautiful, handcrafted plaster ceilings and other designed elements,” Dagowitz describes. Rose adds: “Whether you choose to sit at the polished mahogany bar facing Pearl Street and order a martini and a snack or in the extra-plush seating in front of the original fireplace from the Ambassador suite at the Waldorf Astoria New York, guests and neighbors can feel the history of the site while sipping cocktails or having an impromptu get together.”
Now that the project has wrapped, the couple is already plotting their next endeavor, with ultra-luxury hotels in New York and Colorado currently on the boards. “As a designer, working with people you are close with makes for such a personal, layered project and a really informed hotel experience,” says Rose. “If you can survive the process, building something as a couple is hugely rewarding.”