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inside Hotel Indigo Warsaw

Designing Hotel Indigo Warsaw inside an antique tenement house

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Designing Hotel Indigo Warsaw inside an antique tenement house

Hotel Indigo Warsaw is sheltered under a spectacular architectural shell. We spoke to the team at Kulczyński Architekt Workshop to understand the challenges and triumphs of designing the city’s latest boutique hotel…

In the Warsaw City Centre, in the tenement house at Smolna 40 Street, there is Hotel Indigo Wasaw – a boutique hotel that HD has followed from concept to completion – which is now visited by guests from all of the world.

inside Hotel Indigo Warsaw

They are being enchanted not only by a perfect location but also by the building itself – its elements have been carefully restored and also improved by skilfully adding modern architectural solutions, which together appear uniquely attractive. Bogdan Kulczyński, from Kulczyński Architekt Workshop, was responsible for the revitalisation of the tenement house.

The history of the tenement house goes as far as the beginning of the 20th century when count Ksawery Branicki, owner of properties adjacent to Branicki Palace (at Nowy Świat 18/20 Street), decided to divide them into six parcels and build buildings on them, facing Smolna Street. Branicki entrusted a project of five tenement houses (the sixth parcel went to another owner) to Bronisław Brochwicz-Rogoyski. In the corner house, at the number 40, came into existence a summer residence of Branicki family – the construction was finished in 1903. More than 40 years later, during the Second World War, the tenement house was bombarded and plundered. In October 1945 Bolesław Bierut decided that the house was going to become a state property. The building was reconstructed again according to remaining plans and photographs. For a short time it was a main office of the First Secretary of Polish United Workers’ Party.

Up until the 1970s, when the building was regained by Branicki family, it was the headquarters of the Polish Socialist Youth Union. At the end of the 1980s, the tenement house was listed as a vintage building. In 2014 the building was bought by an investor who envisioned creating an elegant, boutique hotel in this place. The renovation project was entrusted to Bogdan Kulczyński who is an architect and has a lot of experience in this type of projects. Three years later Hotel Indigo opened its doors for guests.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo

In search of tracks

Eclectic and heavily adorned elevation of tenement house at Smolna 40 Street, which was supposed to inform about status of Branicki family, was in a poor state. The original roof also did not survive – the highest floor was destroyed by bombs and fire. “One can say that the tenement house was scalped and the roof, which was reconstructed in the middle of the last century, did not match at all with the whole building,” said architect Bogdan Kulczyński. “We knew that initially it must have looked differently. A conservator agreed to some little adjustments to the roof but did not agree to add an entire floor.”

The architect and his team were forced to look in libraries and other historical sources for some hints how the original construction looked like. “At first we found a layout on which the roof was present, next we saw a movie, which was recorded from a plane but unfortunately after Warsaw Uprising,” says Bogdan Kulczyński. “Luckily, the walls, with traces of fire, were still standing – and based on them, we managed to reproduce a real height of the roof. This gave us an opportunity to acquire an immediate approval of the conservator to bring back a historical character of this building.” In order to point out that the roof is new and restored, it has been completed with lucarnes made of glass. They are not the only one modern aspect of the front of the building, but also introduce more light into hotel rooms. A modern, completely glazed annexe was built at the back of the tenement house. Connecting an original style with modern materials and elements is one of hallmarks of Kulczyński Architekt Workshop.

Adjustment to modern functionality

At first, the building was suitable for habitation but after the war it transformed into an office and with the passing of time its condition continuously deteriorated. – Patio was dreadful, one could here make movies about the end of the world – mentions the architect. In the revitalisation project every wall, ceiling and staircase were preserved. Interior patio, which today serves as a hotel lobby, is finished with a glass roof on the last floor and there is also a restaurant on high floor. In the underground part of the building there are conference rooms, technical infrastructure and kitchen. 2KUL Interior Design Workshop provided the refreshed hotel with interior design. “From an apartment building it transformed into a hotel, so its function is the same, the only difference is the time period for which people stay in,” Bogdan Kulczyński sums up. Hotel Indigo is an outstanding example of how an idea by an architect living and working almost one hundred and twenty years ago can be effectively merged with modern elements and functions.

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo/IHG

Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

Vienna House plans to open a 240-room hotel in the centre of Wroclaw. The group’s seventh hotel in Poland is slated to open in Q1 of 2022 following a rise in the country’s bleisure market…

Following the acquisition of 17 city hotels from hotel brand arcona, Vienna House has announced plans to open its seventh hotel in Poland, further utilising on the destination’s booming business traveller market.

The new smart-casual city hotel is part of a redesigned building complex which surrounds a historically listed bakery. Vienna House Easy Wroclaw will be a base for business and leisure traveller alike, featuring a vibrant restaurant, lifestyle lobby and bar, modern fitness facilities and spacious conference area. Guests will receive a warm welcome from the famous Wroclaw dwarves’, an insight into the city’s history and unique culture. The complex in which the hotel sits also features a student apartment concept from the BaseCamp brand.

“Wroclaw is an exciting, growing market, and the location in the city centre, near the botanical garden, is ideal, ” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House, in a press release. “The combination of the casual, service-oriented Vienna House Easy and the lively student concept fits very well together and will develop into a fresh, lively meeting place.” Vienna House Easy Wroclaw, the Austrian hotel group’s seventh hotel in Poland, underscores the enormous interest in the Polish market.

Rendering of modern guestroom with dark-green wallcoverings and twin beds

Image credit: Vienna House

The hotel will be operated by Vienna House under a lease agreement from ST Wroclaw Sienkiewicza Sp. z o.o., which offers student apartment solutions with BaseCamp in Poland, Denmark and Germany.

Vienna House Easy Wroclaw offers 236 double rooms along with four suites. The rooms come with extra-long, super comfortable beds, modern writing and seating solutions, and bathrooms with walk-in showers. The hotel also has a 360 m² meeting and conference area, ideal for working. The fitness area features state-of-the-art exercise equipment, in addition to a massage area.

Vienna House Easy stands for smart casual design, hospitality DNA within our employees, established analogue services and meaningful digital offerings. These include televisions with connectivity for guest devices, high-speed WiFi, mobile concierge, self-check-in/check-out and much more. The hotel lobby provides a cosy meeting place, inviting reception area, cool bar and lounge all rolled into one.

Main image credit: Vienna House

Sheraton Warsaw unveils major redesign

Sheraton Warsaw unveils major redesign

998 637 Daniel Fountain

Sheraton Warsaw Hotel, the flagship hotel for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts in Poland, has revealed its stunning redesign following a renovation of all guest rooms and its Sheraton Club Lounge.

Led by London-based designer Alex Kravetz, the renovation draws on the property’s heritage and prestigious location on the corner of Three Crosses Square overlooking The Ujazdowski Park.

Sheraton Warsaw’s 350 spacious rooms and suites have been beautifully transformed into contemporary, residential spaces that feature elements inspired by high-end residential projects such as multilevel soft lighting, luxurious fabrics and high-quality textures and finishes.

Each room features the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience, with a bed that eliminates pressure points and increases circulation, perfect for recovering after a long flight, an intense workout or scenic walking tour of Warsaw.

Vienna House announces Warsaw hotel

755 497 Daniel Fountain

Vienna House have announced a new 164-room hotel in Warsaw’s Mokotów district to open in the summer of 2018. The new hotel, Vienna House Mokotów Warsaw, will be positioned as a 4-star business hotel located in the centre city’s thriving business area.

Warsaw has experienced significant growth in the last ten years and has become a leading destination with a focus on culture, politics and business. The district of Mokotów, located near Warsaw’s Chopin International Airport, has developed from an industrial area into a booming business district. The owner of the new hotel is private equity fund Garvest based in Polish Poznań and Vienna House Mokotów Warsaw will be managed under a lease agreement. The investment is set to total approximately €22 million (£20 million).

The hotel, designed by innovative Polish architectural firm Jems Architekci, will feature a nod to the area’s industrial past alongside contemporary and functional design concepts. The hotel will target business travellers along with local companies and residents with flexible meeting areas in the hotel’s lobby and high standard business facilities.

DoubleTree Wroclaw - Exterior

New DoubleTree by Hilton opens in Poland

1000 568 Daniel Fountain

DoubleTree by Hilton has announced the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Wroclaw, housed in the uniquely designed 6-storey OVO Wroclaw complex.

The OVO Wroclaw is a landmark edifice spearheading a revolution in urban Polish design. The upscale hotel joins three DoubleTree by Hilton properties open in Poland and over 70 DoubleTree by Hilton properties open across Europe.

Boasting 189 stylish guest rooms and suites, including the Presidential suite with an attractive view of Słowacki Park, the hotel caters well for corporate travellers with its contemporary Executive Lounge. The design-led property is located in Wroclaw’s town centre on Podwale Street, nearby to the Main Square. Envisioned by the acclaimed GSARCH-Gottesman Szmelcman architecture firm, the property’s modern and sleek rounded exterior seamlessly blends the curved lines of the building with a stylish minimalism that typifies the interior spaces

The hotel features Wroclaw’s newest destination bar, the atmospheric OVO bar and restaurant, which offers a live cooking station. OVO offers a dynamic dining space with dishes built for sharing and an a la carte menu. As the evening progresses, a DJ takes to the decks while guests can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the hotel lobby, overlooking green outdoor space. OVO offers a courtyard that is open to Wroclaw’s local residents – a relaxed environment allowing up to 100 guests, open from breakfast until late night.

DoubleTree by Hilton Wroclaw offers world-class conference facilities right in the city centre. Seven flexible function rooms are available to hold a casual business meeting, briefing or training session. The visually striking hotel also serves as the perfect venue for a wedding, offering a 317 sq. m. ballroom with a height of up to 5.5 metres, divisible into three smaller areas. The entertainment continues with the hotel’s modern casino opening later this year.

“We look forward to welcoming guests to our hotel and delighting them with DoubleTree by Hilton’s kind and caring service. Wroclaw is rapidly becoming a tourist destination in its own right and demand is rising, so we are in an ideal location,” said Matthias Herd, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Wroclaw. “I am certain that the hotel’s range of facilities will cater to the needs of business and leisure travellers alike and will provide a new, fresh level of hospitality to this vibrant city.”

Almond Hotel, Gdansk

Sneak Peek: Almond Hotel, Gdańsk

1000 666 Daniel Fountain

Situated in the Old Town part of Gdańsk, the Almond Hotel perfectly brings together the functions of a hotel, restaurant, and a spa & wellness complex.

The hotel’s interior design was carried out by Paulina Czurak – owner of the Ideograf Architectural Studio – who consequently used numerous references to the history of the locale.

The Almond Hotel consists of 109 rooms and rich, textured common areas. In the lobby, stone tops made of onyx draw attention, and they refer to the traditional amber of Gdańsk. On the upper floors, fitted carpets have a map of Gdańsk printed on them, designed specially for the hotel.

In the restaurant part, thanks to the live-cooking concept, the guests are given the chance to observe techniques of cooks’ work. This is a culinary way to make business and private meetings more attractive.

The two-level restaurant is divided into two zones: the lower one where the bar and the kitchen are situated in the centre, and a more cosy zone on the upper level. An additional attraction, thanks to the unique situation of the hotel, is the window view of the yacht marina.

The industrial character is added to the interior by suspended shelves and the structure of the bar, on which there are tiles with geometric patterns, which smoothly join the oak pavement. The composition bridge supplementing the wood motif in the interior is the wooden grate on the restaurant ceiling. A similar element is also found in the lobby.

Almond Hotel

www.hotelalmond.pl