JOI-Design refreshes lakefront hotel, Le Méridien, Hamburg

JOI-Design has reinvigorated the public areas of Le Méridien Hamburg, a modern hotel situated on the banks of Aussenalster Lake in Germany, drawing upon the maritime history and culture of the region to create a welcoming entrance and attractive lounge spaces that appeal to guests and local residents alike.

The studio’s concept for the redesign was very much inspired by the myriad of waterways, canals and rivers that define Hamburg’s status as an international trading port, with the lounge areas proposed as a ‘HUB’ that connects visitors from the world over with local city residents – an ideal place to meet, network and socialise.

Hospitable Hanseatic charm
The reconfigured reception area has been completely transformed into a bright, expansive oval space furnished at one end with a pair of prominent timber-clad reception desks.  Behind these, a specially commissioned large-scale artwork by UK artist Debbie Smith is an eye-catching backdrop; thousands of fine metallic threads criss-cross the surface to illustrate a map of the world, with select lines emphasised to indicate key international shipping routes of today. Small clusters of contemporary seating allow guests to relax in comfort within the welcoming lobby.

A place to connect & unwind at any time of day
The spacious HUB lounge is configured to offer a range of possibilities for different types of gatherings. Generous sofas are paired with elegant lounge chairs, while tables at varying heights are suitable for working, casual meetings or enjoying a light snack. Furniture is contemporary in style, with simple yet chic designs in high-quality finishes juxtaposed with quirky occasional pieces. Seating areas have been individually accessorised with luxurious rugs and decorative light fittings to create inviting spaces in which to relax and socialise. A central feature of the lounge is the new ‘Latitude’ bar, an all-day coffee and snack servery that transitions to wine and aperitifs in the evening; the extensive countertop and display cabinet is perfect for presenting afternoon treats and evening tapas.

Design that communicates a sense of place
Many playful associations with the adjacent lake and nautical history of the region are evident in the new interior scheme. Subtle patterns of diagonal lines, triangles and prism shapes repeat on surfaces and in furniture designs, alluding to the ropes and sails of seagoing vessels. Wood and stone surfaces in warm natural tones and textures contrast with soft furnishings in watery hues of turquoise and aqua, while walls finished in stucco lustro and mother-of-pearl add to an overall ambience of refined luxury. Unique ornamental accessories suggest a collection of interesting objects gathered on travels across the globe.

With this first phase of an extensive refurbishment of the hotel, JOI-Design has created a new design language for the public spaces, one that imbues the hotel with a definitive sense of place and reaffirms it as an inviting destination for people to connect and unwind, whether a local resident or voyagers who have travelled from afar. Further phases of work also designed by the studio will involve a new-build conference facility and a soft refurbishment of the guest rooms and spa, all with concepts inspired by the beauty of their lakeside setting.