Conran and Partners’ bold fusion of cultural heritage and contemporary design transforms Maximilian into a vibrant urban escape infused with Czech modernism and playful eclecticism.

Conran and Partners’ playful yet functional ‘poetic modernism’ approach reinvents Maximilian as one of Prague’s most unique boutique hotels with a contemporary edge.

Located in the heart of the city amid a row of 19th-century buildings, the practice undertook a momentous project that fully reimagined and refurbished an Eva Jiricna-designd boutique hotel of over 70 guest rooms including the complete reconfiguration of the existing ground-floor.

The practice’s biggest challenge was the complete conceptual redesign of the ground floor spaces wich previously were elegant but did not have openness and vibrancy. Conran and Partners opened up and unified the spaces to create a holistic journey and experience for guests throughout their day and for a number of requirements. The previously centre stage reception has been tucked away to the raised ground floor to create a much more private and personal welcome, whilst the rest of the public areas have been opened up to the public, welcoming in visitors from outside.

The redesign included the addition of a sophisticated café and wine bar at the main entrance, which animates the building’s façade and engages with the adjacent streetscape, creating an inviting sensory experience that extends beyond the interior spaces and embraces the rich external culture and heritage.

Alongside this, the raised ground floor now also hosts a brasserie set within a newly revamped living-room hub at the heart of the hotel, providing an open engaging social space for both guests and visitors.

To complement the ground floor areas, there is a cosy library space opening out to the courtyard terrace, as well as a generous meeting room with a glass roof, which also faces the courtyard.

Reflected throughout the design of the hotel are the influences of the cultural and architectural heritage of the city. References of Czech modernism and the progressive art movement influenced by famous avant-garde artist and architectural writer, Karel Teige, who is said to be one of the architects of the original hotel building.

Teige- in his distinctive approach to modernist principles – unlike many of his peers created work that sourced inspiration and embodied the foundation of much softer elements. Embracing the use of both texture and colour, as well as more playful eclectic elements which are infamously represented in his life’s work of surreal collage pieces.

His collage artwork can be found throughout the hotel including his well-known alphabet works in each of the guestrooms.

A strong thematic aspect of poetic modernism has been consistently retained in the hotel, balanced with the creation of a sense of place deeply rooted in the city and the history of the neighbourhood. This involved drawing inspiration upon the iconic colour palette of Prague’s historic architecture and local crafts – including traditional processes such as weaving and glass-making – which interplay to make up the materiality of the design.

The defining element and characterisation of Maximilian is enriched by the bold use of colour within Conran and Partners’ design approach. Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different shade to encourage guests to connect on an unexpected and engaging journey through Prague’s tonality. This ranges from light green tones on entry, to pinks in the historic stairwells followed by a deep blue for the guest rooms.

This unique choice of string colour for the uestrooms has become the trademark of the hotel and makes it stand out. The blue tone is combined with local light oak, textured Czech glass panels to the bathroom and rattan panels to the bed head – all reflecting specific local crafts.

All is intricately woven into bespoke interiors tailored exclusively for the hotel.

Complementing this is a thoughtfully curated selection of contemporary and classic furniture pieces, arranged to showcase soft and lively shades that resonate with the broader colour scheme and seamlessly creates an elevated guest experience.

Maximilian is a welcoming and playful boutique destination in the heart of Prague that carefully connects the history of design in its setting with a contemporatry, yet timeless interior design style.

Project: Hotel Maximilian
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Design Studio: Conran and Partners
Photo Credits: Matthias Aschauer and Stefan Schuetz

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