Michelberger Hotel

Michelberger Hotel

Architect
Jonathan Tuckey Design
Location
berlin, Germany
Category
Hotels
Stories By
GROHE

Jonathan Tuckey Design

Michelberger Hotel

GROHE as Manufacturers

A patchwork of different styles with a quirky variety of interior designs and a penchant for the eclectic set Berlin’s Michelberger Hotel apart from the crowd. This three-star accommodation is an example of an unconventional approach to hotel management that is arguably unique in the world.


This is due above all to the innovative vision of Tom Michelberger, the hotel’s principal. Originally, he had wanted to live in the house with his friends. Later on, another idea was born, namely to create a hotel for the inhabitants and guests to share – a kind of “patchwork hotel”. While people first smiled at the “amateur idealists”, Michelberger and his friends made their dream become reality in a former industrial building in Berlin’s district of Friedrichshain.


The group was supported by the Interior Design Studio Aisslinger, a firm renowned for its unconventional approach of revitalising typical style elements of past eras. While the original architecture was hardly modified at all, the interior design ranges from casual through to luxurious, stylish suites inspired by imperial grandeur. This means that puristic rooms may contrast with golden ornaments on beds as well as high-tech equipment.


The lobby is a mix between a living room and a lounge and some of the common rooms would not look out of place in a youth hostel. The 119 rooms were designed according to individual concepts: there are rooms with five and six beds for bands on tour, “The Big One” for an Italian clan, the luxurious chalet or the “Golden One” styled in the “Dynasty” look.


The sanitary fittings are a class of their own that matches the unique charm of the hotel, ranging from a simple washbasin in a corner or rows of washbasins via lavish bathrooms through to rest rooms with colours reminding of the 1970s and 1980s.


The bathroom interior is given a special touch by the Concetto single-lever mixers installed on the washbasin and in shower. Slightly inclined toward the user, Concetto cuts a stylish figure and is easy to operate. After an exciting day in the buzzing German capital, the GROHE Tempesta hand shower invites guests to relax. This is supported by GROHE DreamSpray® which distributes the water pressure evenly across all nozzles. Tempesta combines a modern look with a very sturdy design; the wrap-around impact protector prevents damage if ever it should fall.


Because of its extraordinary character the Michelberger won 2010 European Hotel Design award. This outstanding project is also specified in the new GROHE Reference Book, which is available in bookshops and online by March 2011.

Michelberger hotel

Jonathan Tuckey Design as Architects

Berlin’s most social hotel explores its industrial past in new rooms and spaces Jonathan Tuckey Design has been appointed to extend a floor of the renowned Michelberger hotel in Berlin. It will be the practice’s first hotel project, demonstrating the pioneering spirit of the owners. Started in 2009, the Michelberger has garnered a reputation for its unusually inclusive approach to hospitality, set-up more like a communal house than a traditional hotel. Its social attitude stems from the owners’ desire to foster artistic experimentation and chance encounters between guests. The communal activities that take place in the ‘house’ – including live music, an outdoor kitchen, a Christmas forest, yoga studio and more – are located within a central courtyard with all the interior spaces looking into it.


As the hotel evolves, the creation of additional floor provides an opportunity to offer the luxury of more space to a growing number of guests, who enjoy privacy and the pleasure of remaining inside their own room. The new aesthetic ties in with the design approach across the hotel, where every inch is used, creating practical, warm and spatially interesting rooms. Jonathan Tuckey Design has been commissioned to design a new floor of rooms for the hotel that act as a calm refuge from the hustle and bustle of Berlin city life. The building that the hotel now occupies dates from 1903 and was originally designed for light industrial use and not for residential purposes. The architects have chosen to celebrate the original features of the building across the new spaces on the fourth floor. Vast open floor plates, enormous windows and beams traversing the full width of the ceiling will be overlaid with domestic-scale rooms and amenities. New windows will be added to the rear of the building, bringing more natural daylight into the deep floor plates. Large communal walkways provide access to the rooms but also act as social spaces where guests might bump into one another, just as they might in the city. Each room will have a door and window that faces onto these elevated ‘streets’.


The industrial interiors have been tempered for the guests’ everyday use, with materials selected to provide warmth and natural textures. The scale of the massive windows is reduced as they are shuttered, veiled in joinery and given window seats. The vast beams that traverse the building are celebrated in each room, while the new surfaces are machine made and hand finished, featuring cast concrete tiles, whitened MDF and hand-trowelled pigmented plaster. Open-plan rooms are subdivided by timber balustrades that offer privacy within the large spaces without undermining the expansive aesthetic. These divisions are formed of frames that hang down from the ceiling and more solid paneling that rises up from the floor. The architects have also proposed a range of bespoke plywood furniture, inspired by the minimalist sculptures of artist Donald Judd.


Practice Director Jonathan Tuckey said: “We are incredibly lucky to have been appointed for our first hotel project by the team at the Michelberger. This hotel is built around a creative community and so the social experience is paramount. We feel that by taking aspects of the city and building them into the fabric of the interiors we can create a series of spaces that can be enjoyed and shared by the guests, both new and returning customers.” Michelberger’s Creative Director Azar Kazimir said: “In researching for this project, Jonathan’s work leapt out at us with his ability to create simple, almost minimalist spaces but ones which are full of warmth, charm and humility. That is a rare thing to find! He has a wonderful sensitivity to working with light and natural materials and has great ability in working with existing buildings and adding to them to create something beautifully new.


As we began to work together, we found his process of using hand-drawn sketches and models, rather than 3D renders, a natural fit with our way of seeing and doing and no doubt this is key to the qualities his work achieves. We’re excited to make rooms with Jonathan that are simple, free of distraction, but warm, tactile, and useable, that generate a sense of tranquility and confer that feeling onto their occupants, that are harmoniously nestled within the building they're in. Furthermore, making rooms that have a long life and actually get more beautiful as they wear has been a primary ambition here and we’re looking forward to watch how the rooms grow as the years unfold.“ Work will commence on the new hotel rooms in early 2018 and the new floor will be open in the Summer.


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