An Homage to Amber

13. September 2019

The new Radisson Hotel & Suites, Gdańsk pays tribute to the history of the city as it is on the crossroads of both ancient and contemporary amber routes

Designer Magdalena Adamus about this new development in the heart of Gdańsk:

„Beauty in general, so also beauty of interiors is a matter of individual taste and expectations.  Good looking or charming space is not enough to be a well received hotel. It is difficult for me to enjoy so-called first good impression by the entrance of our recent work in Radisson Hotel & Suits in Gdansk. I’m always interested in how a newly opened hotel works. Is the space understandable for service and guests? Can the functional concept of space use be adapted to demanding hospitality needs along with the equipment, and if it is different than planned, are there any new design needs or any issues to be solved? The hotel is located in very sensitive spot central to the so called old part of town, Granary Island. It was not touched since 1945, awaiting to be rebuilt for more than 70 years. Now the city is gaining new vibrant district very attractive to the tourists with few hotels, many restaurants and shops, as well as all kinds of services. We like to think of that place as „Island of treasures“, „resources”, a wealth of meanings and references. The company under the name „Granary Fire Car“, owned by Zbigniew Nowak expected a fairy tale effect within the interiors of their hotel. The challenge was to give him at least a legend -like story using contemporary language.  It couldn’t have been a minimalistic interior or industrial setting. The historical context is always very helpful for interiors, and the modern lifestyle finds its place perfectly in such tissue. In this case the problem was that we only had one building that survived. We have certainly managed to achieve the effect of space saturated with a carefully designed detail. The stone floor is to evoke scattered sand. The motif of ears of grain, waves or tenements, is really very simplified, geometric, so it can be associated completely freely. We used it in the design of the carpet, wall panels made of natural walnut and in the design of the staircase railing. At the reception, bar and restaurant we used real amber aggregate, which is in fact locally collected „gold” for Gdańsk. The tubes made of special material contained a total of 400 kilograms of real amber. Despite a very specific budget, the project has many valuable pieces of furniture and equipment. It should be remembered that the hotel is to handle mainly conferences under the Radisson brand and will definitely have a constant occupancy, so the durability and sincerity of the materials used here is of key importance. We have never designed amber interiors before. We admit Investors idea of amber was best to connect hotel interiors with Gdansk. But using it on such a scale raised many of our fears. We were mainly afraid  of aesthetic  cliche but also practical sides needed and still need special attention „Saying no or questioning investor’s directives  is at best a better of gentle persuasion and never a battle of equals“  Renier de Graaf . We worked for a long time on a mock-up of the tube filled with amber from the inside.  Chandeliers that are hung in the restaurant on the first floor are also designed in my studio especially for that handsome room of our restaurant. They are visible from the other side of the Motlawa canal. I must admit that this was not the intended effect. The warm light of mostly associates very well, invites you to enter, I hope it tempts you to cross the bridge and see what’s inside. This project required courage to come out from proven patterns, cooperation, respect and trust. In my understanding, the concepts of beauty and elegance have been reformed many times during this process. Much depends now on the current management.  Good service and a well-kept facility are the basis today. I hope that the hotel will attract guests from many countries and become a good showcase of our beautiful city.“

Images: Tom Kurek

Design: LOFT Magdalena Adamus

Radisson Hotel and Suits, Gdańsk: Chmielna 10-25, Gdańsk80-748, Poland


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