The newly opened Gatsby Athens Hotel brings a new lease of life and avant garde design to a previous derelict building in the historical centre of Athens. Generating a renewed energy to the Greek capital, the 33-room contemporary boutique hotel balances sophisticated design and personalised, attentive service with exciting food, beverage and entertainment offerings reflecting the best of the cultural and social milieu of its location.
With interiors designed by acclaimed London and New York based design firm, Michaelis Boyd, the hotel’s public spaces feature unique entertaining and social spaces to suit every mood – and offer an array of dining possibilities. The architectural design was led by award-winning Greek architectural firm WOA, which has transformed the crumbling 1930’s building and police station into an elegant and eco-friendly hotel rooted in the emotional connection between people and buildings. Costas Gagos Architecture and Design Studio has also recently completed the basement to curate an allusion of hidden rooms and secret passageways.
WOA’s architectural vision balances between the typical Greek modern architectural typology, the contemporary vision of sustainable buildings, creating a meaningful experience for guests. The art deco building has been abandoned for the past four decades, so it was important to convey a sense of timelessness rather than a decade-defining aesthetic. The setting evokes the glamour of mid-1930 Athens, creating a fine balance between old and new. Simple and clean lines have been honoured throughout the design, whilst preserving as much of the original structure as possible but bringing an eco-twist with a natural green façade to the building. To honour its past and future, design intricacies have been employed that complement the building’s heritage and surroundings – materials have been reused and the majority of the construction of the hotel was handmade or custom made by local craftsmen.
Inspiration Behind the Interior Design
Michaelis Boyd has made their name by creating spaces that are emotive, meaningful and thoughtful, taking inspiration from nature and considering light, form and flow.
At the heart of every space is authenticity and the design team have been careful to maintain original elements of the interior architecture whilst bringing the interiors up to date. The result is a contemporary scheme that draws on art deco influences in keeping with the Gatsby legacy. Period details such as the existing white marble staircase were preserved, and materials such as warm woods and veined marbles introduced, chosen for their timeless quality and to patinate over time. Inspired by the natural environment and the local culture and craftspeople, tactility is a key part of the design process. Layered textures are combined with contemporary furniture, touches of reeded glass and gold details for a luxurious finish that compliments traditional Greek design elements, such as the red and green marble, and locally sourced terrazzo.
The creation of the Gatsby Athens Hotel brought back to life a dilapidated Athenian building which was an eyesore and destined to be demolished. Reusing buildings and avoiding the CO2 emissions from construction is the most sustainable way to build. In addition, the building has been optimized for energy efficiency with the use of new technology and with the addition of high-quality thermo-proofing throughout the structural elements of the building. There has also been an addition of a beautiful natural green façade to the exterior of the building.
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