A legend awakens: Andaz Prague – HOTELSMag.com
Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, Andaz Prague awakens the cultural soul of the Czech Republic. For the country’s first Hyatt-branded property, Madrid-based interior design studio Brime Robbins took its role as visual storyteller to heart with a concept inspired by ancient fairy tales.
Contributed by Alicia Sheber
The Adventures of Knight Bruncvik teaches loyalty, friendship, stability and strength through quests with the Two-Tailed White Lion, a figure appearing on the Czech coat of arms, and includes symbols such as a horse, a wing , a magic sword and the eye of Libuše, the queen who prophesied the existence of Prague.
Allusions to these legends become sentimental touchpoints for locals and entertaining anecdotes for travelers, appearing in the lobby, hallways and 175 rooms and suites, as well as the retro-futuristic 1920s bistro, Zem, and the bar, Mez, which offers Bohemian-inspired cocktails. mythology.
“So many people responded in a heartfelt way, because these children’s stories are very much alive in adult consciousness,” said Garrett Robbins, co-founder of Brime Robbins. “They gave us a landscape to play in while accommodating the Andaz brand’s disruptive, surprising, exciting and sometimes quirky and whimsical attitude towards design.”
Located in Nové Mest, Prague’s historic old town, the restored neoclassical landmark from 1916 is known to locals as the “Sugar Palace” because, in its heyday, the building was an insurance hub for the beet sugar industry before that market collapsed and became a bank. . Brime Robbins received minimal design rules from Andaz. However, Vienna-based owner UBM Development AG has stipulated to avoid references to sugar as the concept would be restrictive and not seem relevant to Czechs.
The Prague Heritage Society has been intensely involved given the uniqueness of the listed structure. “It is the last independent historical site in the center of Prague – there are no other buildings like it,” said Maria Brime, co-founder of Brime Robbins. “They wanted to protect it because they hadn’t been thorough with past hotel conversions.”
The original moldings have been reconstructed or preserved, and all windows, doors and door frames have been rebuilt according to the original design of architects Josef Zasche and Theodor Fischer. Creating a modern feel required negotiation, from the pink hue of the herringbone wooden floors in the guest rooms in reference to Prague’s pastel-coloured neighborhoods, to the use of the mandatory RAL 9013 cream paint on the ceilings and the upper parts of the walls, and a contemporary saturated blue under .
During the restoration, the team discovered that 1930s silver screen diva Adina Mandlova resided there in a private boudoir created to her liking with intricate mahogany detailing and rose-patterned fabric banners that have been retained. “We didn’t know the coin existed until it was discovered. It was well preserved, but research had to be done to find out what it was,” Robbins said.
“We imagined that jackhammers would wake the dead, that the sleeping legends inside this building would wake up to welcome guests,” Brime joked. “This vision inspired our concept of the plaster reliefs emerging from the walls and this is what gave rhythm to our design.”