Rocco Forte’s The Augustine receives MIPIM nomination

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Owner Waldeck Capital LLC, project developer Raiffeisen Evolution and the hotel’s operating company The Rocco Forte Collection have announced that The Augustine in Prague has been nominated for a prestigious MIPIM award, in the Hotels & Tourism Resorts category. The nomination celebrates the challenge of restoring more than 800 years of art and architecture in creating The Augustine, in line with rigorous guidelines set out by the Czech conservation authorities. Seven buildings, all dating to different eras (and including the 13th century Augustinian monastery of St Thomas), having distinct structures and built from diverse materials on various levels, had to be integrated into a seamless blend of old and new, while remaining true to their heritage.
    Before construction work could even begin, a complete historical survey of all the structures, materials and finishes in the buildings took place, followed by concept studies. After almost two years and 27 concept studies, and with 84 financing models and 63 legal agreements in place, the building work finally started.

    Underground, over 4,000 cubic metres of archaeological excavation took place, resulting in a number of remarkable features, such as the preservation of the 17th century stalactites and stalagmites found in The Brewery Bar housed in the cellar of the former St Thomas’s brewery. Flora in situ was also protected, resulting in three mature trees now forming focal points in The Monastery Restaurant, which was created from the glassed-in courtyard in which they stand.

    Wherever possible, original construction materials have been re-used. For example, on the top, attic floor, the roof was raised and the original timbers restored by Czech craftsmen using traditional methods; in Tom’s Bar, a barrel-vaulted, double-height hall comes complete with re-conditioned original ceiling frescoes of cherubs.

    To provide an idea of the complexity of the buildings and the innovative approach required to construct a hotel around the monastery’s historic highlights, no two guest rooms out of the 101 inventory are the same and no less than four differently placed passenger lifts were required to allow simple, short access for every guest.

    When the construction work was finally complete, an award-winning team of interior designers from RDD, led by Olga Polizzi, The Rocco Forte Collection’s director of design, moved on site. A picturesque mix of established courtyards, elegant gardens and modern ecclesiastical interiors reflecting The Augustine’s location, its rich monastic history and the cultural assets of Prague.

    The world’s largest property forum, MIPIM (Marché International des Professionels d’Immobilier) takes place annually in Cannes, bringing together industry decision makers from around the globe and providing them with an opportunity to meet, network and showcase their latest developments – in one place, to one hugely influential audience.

    The MIPIM awards being presented at an Awards Ceremony on the evening of Thursday 18th March.

    Daniel Fountain / 18.02.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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