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One of Prague’s most established boutique hotels, Maximilian, has reopened after a refurbishment programme by Conran and Partners.
Commissioned by hotel owners, Christian and Rudolf Ploberger, the redesign covers 71 guest rooms plus the reconfiguration of existing ground floor areas to create new public spaces – including a café and bar, library and event space with courtyard garden.
The Ploberger brothers also own Prague’s Hotel Josef and wanted to use this renovation as an opportunity to contrast Josef’s starker, iconic style with the softer, colourful and more playful style of the Maximilian. Maximilian is situated on Haštalská Street facing the Haštal Church – close to Prague’s Old Town Square – and opened in 1995. The interiors were previously renovated in 2005 to a design by Czech architect Eva Jiřičná.
“Maximilian presented us with interesting challenges,” commented Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners. “It consists of two different buildings with different architectural styles, which are connected on the ground floor by a linear series of previously underutilised public areas. Our challenge was to open up and unify these spaces to create a coherent and engaging journey for guests and visitors.”
Conran and Partners have also added a café and bar at the main entrance, improving the food and beverage offering. The new amenities animate the building’s façade and engages with the adjacent streetscape, including a small tree-lined paved area directly in front of the church opposite.
The Plobergers have teamed up with innovative Austrian restauranteur Marco Simonis to create the F&B concepts for the hotel.The ground floor spaces were re-worked to include a brasserie within the new living room hub at the heart of the hotel, providing social spaces for guests and visitors alike.
Conran and Partners’ design approach for the hotel reflects the cultural and architectural heritage of the city, referencing Czech modernism and the progressive art movement influenced by famous avant-garde artist and architectural writer, Karel Teige. A leading member of the avant-garde Devětsil movement, Teige developed a version of the modernist principle that was based on much softer elements than many of his peers in the early 20th century. His poetic modernism embraced texture, colour and playful elements also represented in his surreal collage works that feature throughout the hotel.
Rudolf Ploberger, co-owner of Maximilian, says: “By respecting the heritage of the original building and through an inspiring collaboration with Conran and Partners, we have created a chic, contemporary urban dwelling that brings together the best of Czech tradition, culture and design with brasserie-style food. The new design will allow us to focus on the needs of our guests to ensure that they experience a truly memorable time while in Prague.”
Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone, referencing the bold and colourful architecture of Prague’s city centre. Ranging from light green tones at the entrance to pinks in the historic stairwells and deep blue for the guest rooms. Striking elements of local craft, made bespoke for the hotel, features throughout the hotel, complimenting a carefully curated selection of contemporary and classic furniture pieces in similar soft and colourful shades.
Our challenge was to open up and unify these spaces to create a coherent and engaging journey for guests and visitors.”
Bespoke lighting elements designed by Conran and Partners, and made by Czech manufacturer Sans Souci, feature throughout the public areas and a contemporary chandelier crafted from handmade Czech glass was created for the living room and library spaces. The popular basement spa has been optimised and refreshed throughout using gentle pastel paint colours, bespoke artwork murals by local design company Lavmi and warm ambient lighting to promote relaxation.
Conran and Partners’ design approach for the rooms optimised the spaces across various guest room layouts, which include quirky rooms with curved ceilings within the roof space, giving them a contemporary yet warm and residential feel.
“We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional,” says Norden. “Colour features very strongly in the rooms as well, combining a deep blue with softer highlights and warm oak joinery, textured glass, mirror and brass details. The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving, while the artwork celebrates the Czech avant-garde movement, including photomontages by Karel Teige. The terrazzo in the bathroom areas is both decorative and functional. Each room has a window bench seat – some looking out onto the church opposite – to offer guests a direct connection with the city and outside. Our aim was to redefine Maximilian with a clear and compelling personality which is grounded in the local context and re-establish it as a prime design destination hotel for the city.”
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