JOI-Design has created the interiors for the newly opened Hyatt Place Frankfurt, the lifestyle brand's first property in Germany. Balancing the calm of nature with high-tech efficiency, the studio has designed an 'Urban Jungle' concept that uses natural materials and palettes to create a connection between the city and nature. The result is a relaxing yet energising sanctuary from the adjacent Frankfurt airport.
The 312-room newbuild was conceived to provide stylish comfort and convenience for business travellers constantly on the move through the largest travel hub in Europe. Part of Gateway Gardens, a recently constructed commercial development located at the former Rhein-Main Airbase, the site is a hive of activity in the daytime, while during the early mornings and evenings, it grows quiet. Creating a warm, welcoming ambiance was essential to ensure the silence felt relaxing rather than lonely and, with most guests staying only one night, offer a taste of Frankfurt's culture.
JOI-Design's found inspiration in the neighboring parklands that emerged since the US Air Force planted trees at the base decades ago. Reflecting guests' desire for wellness and natural connections, the greenery of the outdoors has become an appealing interior focus. Round, framed patches of moss hung on the lobby walls bring a sense of freshness and suggest the nearby woodland topography as seen from the air.
Open-structured room dividers in the public areas introduce degrees of intimacy while still allowing guests to feel connected with their surroundings. The first can be seen in the lobby, with ropes strung between full-height circular frames and a suspended track that projects light onto the ceiling. The lattice design has also been used as art behind the reception desk, both to reference the airport's vast network of flights and to inject a creative energy that uplifts the relaxed, inviting vibe. The criss-cross pattern is additionally echoed in the illuminated circular ceiling structure above a double-sided 'island' that functions on one half as reception, and on the other as a bar for the lounge. On the reception side, assorted green, grey and white glass pendant lights hang from the frame, and over the bar, cowbell-shaped clear glass lights are suspended from sturdy leather straps.
In the lounge, seating clusters in assorted styles and colours, along with airy brightness from the skylight, form a chilled-out 'living room' where guests can work, unwind and enjoy a bite or beverages.
Books and accessories carefully chosen for guests to discover Frankfurt's culture are displayed on dual-sided shelves that double as room dividers. In addition to bringing a fluid transition between the lounge and restaurant, they also allow spatial reconfiguration according to fluctuations in demand. The location of Gateway Gardens offers no other dining alternatives and does not allow the restaurant to profit from walk-in customers. As a result, flexible zoning in the Hyatt Place was essential so intimacy could be achieved according to time of day and periods of lower occupancy. Circular rope dividers come into play here, too, for further definition of seating groups.
As this property is the country's first Hyatt Place, JOI-Design was given the task of originating a bedroom concept relevant for the German marketplace and typical guest profile. In a scenario where travellers usually stay for only one night, suitcases are rarely unpacked.
The studio realized the conventional closet could be eliminated to free up floor space. Instead, a minimalist set-up with a luggage rack and cheerful golden pipes for hanging clothes create an open, airy and urban feel. Yet at the same time, the earthy palette of taupe and cream used for the freestanding furniture and textiles offer a soothing sense of connection with nature. The typical massive writing desk has been replaced by a round, multifunctional table suitable for working or eating, and the bulky sofa has been swapped for a streamlined chaise longue where travellers can recline for a call with the family, a glass of wine or checking emails in a calm atmosphere.
JOI-Design's philosophy when developing hospitality concepts is to embed subtle cultural references through interior details that together add up to an impression of the locale. At the Hyatt Place Frankfurt, sketched maps provide guests with a quick sense of the region, for example with wallcovering that doubles as art in the bedrooms as well as in the meeting rooms, each of which also features a series of framed maps that progressively depict sections of the shoreline from Mainz to Koblenz. Miniature in scale, they invite guests to interact with the art via magnifying glasses.
Photography: Simone Ahlers