A Bavarian Beauty - JOI-Design Shapes the Atmosphere of the Hilton Munich Park

A Bavarian Beauty: JOI-Design Shapes the Atmosphere of the Hilton Munich Park

Nestled in the heart of Bavaria within the vibrant Englischer Garten, the Hilton Munich Park has recently been renovated by JOI-Design to have a style that draws upon its idyllic setting along the banks of the Eisbach Creek. Previously disjointed and lacklustre spaces have been transformed into ones with a cohesive and sophisticated design that is woven into the lush greenery and rippling streams of the surroundings to provide a calming retreat for both business and leisure guests.

"We are fortunate that Hilton really supported our vision for bringing the beauty of the vibrant gardens surrounding the hotel into its interior spaces," commented Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk, co-managing director of JOI-Design. "By customising even the tiniest of details, we've created a subtle design that unfurls little-by-little to provide guests with discoveries throughout their stay and which completely transforms the spirit of the Hilton Munich Park."

In the lobby, a cosier "human" scale with options for socialising and degrees of privacy was introduced. Prior to the renovation, the area's scattered furniture and open-plan, double-height volume resulted in a vast yet cluttered feeling. JOI-Design has eliminated this through the creation of "zoned" layouts.

Anodized metal balustrades in varying heights separate the seating from the traffic flow to turn the atmosphere into a cosy "living room". In the lounge's centre, a sinuous "S-shaped" sofa further breaks-up the area into more intimate groupings, while barstools at cafe tables near the pastry counter are suitable for a quick coffee. The existing reception desk was split into two halves to disperse guests within the space; overhead, a smoked oak panel inset with horizontal light strips creates a focal point, closing off the once exposed conference level and lowering the volume of the space below to make it more inviting. In addition, JOI-Design worked with a lighting designer to form a central light sculpture made from assorted lengths of glowing fibre optic flower petals that hang from the coved ceiling.

Eye-catching accents have been added to spark guests' imaginations. On the staircase landing, flower petals coated in champagne coloured anodized aluminium are enclosed in a rectangular timber frame backlit by LEDs to form an intriguing art installation.

Throughout the lobby, glass and mirrored panels etched with three overlapping patterns of gilded tree branches disperse layered shadows of twigs. This motif is echoed in the metal screens that encircle the lobby, dressing-up shop windows to give them a warmer appeal and framing the entry into People's Bar in a way that draws guests into the space. Inspired by garden hedges, these trellises allow travellers resting in the bar to "see and be seen" while also providing a sense of shelter from the large lobby.

People's Bar had formerly felt soulless and disjointed from the rest of the hotel; now, it is imbued with contemporary warmth. Again, nature and the park outside infuse the language of the design concept, as seen for example in the abstract floral motifs of the custom wool carpet and the bespoke wallcovering patterned with winding tendrils in parts of the room. Silky ruby-toned accent cushions create a vibrant counterpoint to the soft champagne hued leather and velvet textures of the lounge chairs.

Hanging above the smoked oak bar is an assortment of pendant lights which softly illuminate each seat individually. The helix of shadows cast by the perforated, geometrically contoured pendants used here and elsewhere in the bar are mirrored in the spiral form of the cocktail tables' silver bases. Clever considerations such as these are what shape the bar's atmosphere of sophisticated glamour.

For the 247-cover Tivoli Restaurant and Club which overlooks the gardens, JOI-Design brought conviviality and a refined Bavarian elegance into spaces. Inspired by the beautiful natural scenery, the company has created a design which brightens the atmosphere and results in a more polished and comfortable guest experience. The new scheme uplifts diners' arrival through the addition of a stylish focal point at the welcome area. A fitted leather-clad wardrobe provides storage for guests' coats and also hides the technology and cabling required at reception, enabling the greeter's station to be a decorative table rather than the conventional podium. Fine detailing to the wardrobe includes rich chocolate leather, a hand-stitched border and leather-lined inset handles.

The restaurant's previous configuration required dinner guests to walk past unlit, idle breakfast tables and buffet stations used only through to lunchtime - an uninviting promenade as they progressed towards the dining space. A reorganised pathway means diners no longer pass the buffet space now separated in the evening, and foliage-patterned curtains conceal the empty breakfast areas to provide a harmonious journey to the dinner table.

Laser-cut with poetically styled motifs of branches and birds, Tivoli's oak wall panels have been adhered to backlit glass sheets, illuminating the restaurant and adding a connection with nature even during the evening hours. Above the "Captain's Table", where private groups and single business people can dine throughout the day, oak pendant lights playfully interpret the wheel spokes of traditional Bavarian horse-drawn carriages. The lively sparkle of the main dining area's mirrored globe pendant lights provides a fresh, contemporary contrast to the restaurant's predominantly matte finishes.

The 'Marco Polo' event space on the top floor of the hotel has also been refreshed by JOI-Design with a crisp, neutral palette that provides a clean backdrop for the fantastic views of the colourful Munich skyline. New carpets, contemporary lighting and additional millwork details have given the space a sense of refinement. Business guests can also now enjoy the transformed executive lounge. Bold crimson splashes in its carpet provides a visually exciting contrast to the pewter and cream tones of the leather chairs and artwork. With balconies looking directly onto the park, the lounge is a hideaway from the hustle-and-bustle of the hotel's public areas.

In the Hilton Munich Park's 484 bedrooms and suites, a contemporary interpretation of the park's colourful scenery can be found through warm earth and ripe berry tones and a design that unfolds as guests discover its layered details.

With the hotel's wide range of conference facilities, it was essential for the guestrooms to accommodate the needs of business travellers while also providing relaxation. A spacious 31.4 sqm footprint enabled the designers to plan three zones within the bedrooms. The first "resting" area contains a wide, comfortable bed tucked into the "protected" innermost part of the room. On the wall opposite the bed, an "oversized" leather-wrapped frame defines the middle "working" section's generously sized desk, dresser and television. The third "leisure" zone is next to the full-height sliding doors which lead onto the veranda and its lovely garden views. A plush chaise longue and a pouf are highlighted by a trio of "raindrop" pendant lamps hung at different lengths to emphasise the bedroom's spaciousness.

Upon second glance, the room's carefully considered design details emerge: the carpet's foliage pattern suggestive of a walk in the park; hand-sewn stitches in the leather frame that evoke the traditional Bavarian tanned trousers sported in days past, and, within its border, an understated tone-on-tone floral wallcovering adds charm. The desk doubles as a vanity and has a narrow mirror with a finely etched scroll that picks-up this floral theme while simultaneously "widening" the room's appearance. Upon it rests a lamp, a nostalgic design classic.

The neutral palette of the assorted suites and the Presidential Suite paints an elegant picture: a fluted, matte silver wall "frame" is inset with a pearlescent wallcovering, and tone-on-tone wool rugs with tree branch silhouettes allude to the park beyond. Here, the contemporary contrasts with the traditional; for example, a masculine, dark walnut credenza sits adjacent to a cream dining table whose shapely legs have rounded turnings reminiscent of those found on Bavarian antiques.

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