Project Of The Week – NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire series features the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, located in Amsterdam and overlooking the legendary Dam Square.
The Grand Café, housed within the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky has been imaginatively revived by Studio Proof, along with the hotel’s other food and beverage offerings and public spaces. Elegant and contemporary but also designed clearly within the style and tradition of noble European cafés, the venue is three times the size of its previous iteration and has been sectioned into three adjoining areas, each accommodating different dining experiences. A fully glazed pantry housing enticing patisserie displays stands by the entrance, surrounded by compact booths. The next space in the enfilade is dominated by a magnificent seafood counter dressed with a white carrara marble top and custom lamps, and framed at each end by a floor-to-ceiling champagne wall. The far end is balanced with a floor-to-ceiling display of fine teas and sharing tables, with bespoke pendant lights hang throughout to articulate the space and capture the attention of passers-by.
SBID had the opportunity to speak with David Morris, Creative Director of Studio Proof.
Company: Studio Proof
Project: NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam
Project Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
What was the client’s brief?
Studio Proof was tasked with the redesign of all public areas and food and beverage venues within the legendary Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky. This was the first full refurbishment of the hotel for nearly half a century and called for the designers to rationalise the space to make sense of the 50-plus individual buildings that had been absorbed into the property since 1865. NH had just launched their new luxury NH Collection brand and so this was the first manifestation of it. Relevance to the brand and its colours were very much part of the client’s focus and we had to skilfully steer that alongside the sensitivities needed in this historic and much-loved hotel.
What inspired the design of the project?
We were inspired by the history of the hotel, the story of the original owner, and the fantastic location. We wanted to tastefully update the spaces to combine cosmopolitan style with subtle references to the hotel’s heyday – the glamorous 1920s – to achieve interiors fit for the highest quality within the NH brand. The Grand Café is stylish and modern whilst also in keeping with the traditions of noble European cafes; we wanted to make the most of its stunning views across Dam Square and did so by adding more large windows and tripling its size so that it now spans one side of the hotel. The White Room is the oldest restaurant building in Amsterdam, protected by Dutch Monumental regulations, and called for a sensitive touch, whereas the Tailor Bar is a brand new venue whose more light-hearted décor is inspired by Wilhelm Krasnapolsky who started his working life as a tailor.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
To be honest, it was simply getting 85% of our design ideas built. So much was invested into removing unexpected amounts of asbestos, inputting extra steel work to hold up the fragile houses that form the hotel (56 of them and some 500 years old), and the sheer quantity of steel needed to remodel the public spaces, it meant that the fit-out budget was really challenged. What we achieved with the budget we had and the building conditions we inherited was nothing short of a miracle, and stands as testament to the whole design team’s fortitude and perseverance. Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is now a credible and stylish ambassador of the NH Collection brand values and it has been really fulfilling to see this design come to fruition.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
To be honest, it was simply getting 85% of our design ideas built. So much had to be invested into unforeseen enabling works and introducing extra steel work to hold up the fragile houses that form the hotel (56 of them and some 500 years old) as well as the sheer quantity of steel needed to remodel the public spaces, it meant that the design budget constrained. The final achievement is testament to the whole design team’s resourceful pragmatism. Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is now a credible and stylish ambassador of the NH Collection brand and it warms our hearts to see our design come to fruition.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
I thought it would be interesting to take part in an international and prestigious contest known all over the world as The SBID International Design Awards; moreover I knew it could be also a good way to get in touch with other design professionals, to keep informed on the news and to be part of the SBID society.
Questions answered by David Morris, Creative Director of Studio Proof.
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