Inside design studios Bowler James Brindley and Bánáti + Hartvig have reworked a 140-year-old neo-Renaissance constructing in central Budapest into the newest outpost from resort chain W Accommodations.
W Budapest is ready contained in the 1886 Drechsler Palace designed by architects Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos, beforehand house to a grand cafe and the headquarters of the Hungarian State Ballet Academy.
Working with native studio Bánáti + Hartvig, London-based Bowler James Brindley (BJB) wished to attract out the glamorous historical past of the constructing, which had stood empty for 15 years earlier than being acquired by W Accommodations’ proprietor Marriott Worldwide.
BJB aimed to “playfully modernise” the interiors whereas drawing on the structure of the encircling space on Andrássy Avenue – a UNESCO World Heritage web site that is additionally house to the Hungarian State Opera Home.
Alongside 151 rooms and suites, the constructing now homes a restaurant, lounge, spa and speakeasy.
“The problem from the outset was to not be overawed by the sweetness and energy of the constructing,” BJB companion Ian Bayliss informed Dezeen.
“Many authentic particulars of Drechsler Palace had been studied and re-imagined, as had been authentic colors and textures. Protected structure has been fastidiously restored and celebrated, and authentic glazed tiles have been reused.”
Central to BJB’s conversion was the re-establishment of the palace’s two authentic entrances. This allowed the studio to unlock the areas bordering Andrassy Avenue and create a “lounge” throughout the constructing’s light-filled internal courtyard, which has been enclosed by a glass roof.
Tasked with modernising the constructing’s interiors whereas adhering to heritage safety guidelines, BJB made what it calls “second pores and skin” interventions, which included the creation of latest “corridors” throughout the palace’s ornate arches utilizing freestanding, fret-cut installations.
“We wished to respect the material and ‘pores and skin’ of Drechsler Palace so we set about designing areas, which created a brand new ambiance whereas not touching the fantastically restored cloth,” Bayliss defined.
The studio took the identical method to the restoration of the palace’s vaulted basement spa, which makes use of “Houdini-inspired” mirror illusions to create a sense of endless area.
Curving bronze steel installations comply with the vaulted ceilings, whereas dimly lit therapy rooms had been inserted throughout the pure areas left by current columns.
“In homage to Houdini, the therapy rooms are fully mirror-clad and primarily disappear, actually reflecting the present structure and the brand new second-skin installations,” Bayliss mentioned, referencing Hungarian-born magician Harry Houdini.
Within the visitor rooms, turquoise wall panelling is contrasted with the gold-toned screens that wrap the beds, whereas mirrored checkerboard doorways with brass particulars nod to Hungary’s lengthy ties to the sport of chess.
The chess theme continues within the loos, the place monochrome checkerboard tiling is offset by handmade terrazzo-lined double sinks and lightbulb-framed Hollywood mirrors that pay tribute to Hungarian-American socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor.
“The mixture of a lovely free-standing French Renaissance-inspired constructing by a well-known native architect with a contemporary, idiosyncratic inside inserted into it might solely occur in Budapest,” Bayliss mentioned.
Set to open later this month, W Budapest follows the opening of the model’s Rome outpost in 2021.
Earlier tasks by Bowler James Brindley embrace a number of visitor rooms on the W Barcelona and flats on the decrease ranges of Herzog & de Meuron’s One Park Drive skyscraper in Canary Wharf.
Different inns lately featured on Dezeen embrace a “thoughtfully designed” brutalist resort in Mexico and Capella Accommodations’ Sydney outpost, which is housed inside a heritage-listed former authorities constructing.
The pictures is courtesy of W Budapest.