Mercure Kaliningrad, Russia. 2018
Photo: Nikita Kruchkov
To create a hotel atmosphere that is inspired by local history and flair. The interior should send the guests on an adventure they will remember and talk about.
To play on the cultural references, but not on the obvious one like amber; to create an intense interior without sacrificing guest comfort.
Kaliningrad is a city where different cultures and traditions intertwine. The famous storyteller Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffman, the author of the magical tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was born and worked in Königsberg, which was renamed into Kaliningrad later. The tale was later turned into a no less magical ballet to the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. This fairytale heritage inspired us to create the interior design.
Upon entering the lobby, guests find themselves in an impressive theater interior where historical elements are presented in a contemporary way. We placed the Mercure Brand wall next to the entrance; it is a textured brick wall with an unusual brick layout. The construction of the wall creates a secluded internal space with paintings based on the Hoffman fairytale. They were painted by modern artist Igor Skaletsky who uses mixed media and combines collages with classical painting. Instead of a traditional tall reception counter, we designed standalone desks of different height, with comfortable chairs next to them. There is also a cozy rug on the floor, burgundy velvet curtains, like in a theater, a crystal chandelier, and modern light fixtures – all of them highlight the reception area and attract the attention of guests. In order to play on the hotel’s waterfront location, we painted the ceiling and some of the walls a deep blue color, and hung up curtains of the same shade.
Another important area is the bar, which is built from white marble. A modern fixture of LED lights of different length creates a cozy illumination for the lobby. To make the bar even more attractive, the back wall is decorated with a mirror that magnifies and emphasizes volume and shape. The room design is based on the image of the city of Kaliningrad – a modern interpretation of towers, steeples, and inclined roofs. Graphic patters of historic facades appeared on the floors, walls, and ceilings of the room. The wall separating the bedroom from the bathroom was built from burgundy bricks combined with glass blocks. In order to help the hotel guests relax in the rooms, we chose light and warm colors for the walls, but we added bright accents: magenta bed runners, blue-gray chairs, and emerald headboards. The final interior design is dramatic and memorable, thanks to beautiful complex colors, theater lighting, art objects, soft expensive furniture, a modern rendering of bricks, and carefully planned layout of different zones. All of this creates an atmosphere of comfort, warmth, hospitality, and fairytale in the Mercure Kaliningrad hotel.