A unique vision of avant-garde interior design and architecture…
An idea of freedom come true, a gathering space merging different cultures and ways of interpreting architecture and design. A masterpiece that awakens guests’ senses, that breaks the mould by using different colours, materials and shapes.
12 floors and 19 stars
Architects / Designers:
Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, David Chipperfield, Plasma Studio (Eva Castro and Holger Kehne), Victorio & Lucchino, Mark Newson, Ron Arad, Kathryn Findlay, Richard Gluckman, Arata Isozaki,
Javier Mariscal and Fernando Salas, John Pawson, Christian Liaigre, Teresa Sapey,
Harriet Bourne and Jonathan Bell from B+B, Arnold Chan from Isometrix Lighting and Design,
Felipe Saez de Gordoa (SGA Estudio), Oscar Neimeyer
A unique hotel that invites you to dream…
The concept of the Hotel Puerta America emerged from Hoteles Silken mission to create a hotel that was unique, merging different ways of seeing architecture, design and art. The group has put intensive time and energy into the build over the past three years, not to mention investment – estimated at 75 million euros. The area, more than 34,000 m2, is designed to play host to people from different nationalities and cultures. Everyone involved embarked on an ambitious idea whose very ethos was to become a meeting point, with creative freedom as a banner. All the floors boast the same layout, with a central lobby upon exiting the lift, and a hallway which leads to rooms on either side.
The Hotel Puerta America has 342 bedrooms, comprising of 308 premium rooms, 22 junior suites (larger than the premium rooms) and 12 suites, which are located on the 12th (top) floor.
SCULPTURE: OSCAR NIEMEYER
“Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live.”
The Curves of Time: The memoirs of Oscar Niemeyer
For the Hotel Puerta America he has designed an iron sculpture in the shape of a sickle.
FACADE: JEAN NOUVEL
On the facade, Nouvel plays with the premise of freedom, the cornerstone of the project, by displaying the poem Freedom by Eluard in various languages and in large letters printed on coloured awnings in red, yellow, orange and other colours.
GARDEN: BOURNE + BELL
An oasis in the middle of Madrid. A pine grove surrounds the Hotel Puerta America. The first sensation is that the hotel cannot possibly be located in one of the busiest areas of Madrid. This vegetation will serve as a kind of floral calendar, as all kinds of flowers will successively be in bloom from January to December.
FLOOR 1: ZAHA HADID
Sinuous lines, fluid spaces
Until just a short time ago, Zaha Hadid was better known for the buildings she had not constructed than for those she had. Her spectacular work brought floods of clients, but the formal difficulty of her designs was extreme. All this is now in the past. Today, her fluid spaces, which used to be light years ahead of their time, set the benchmark and can be seen all over the world. Her constructions provoke the imagination of whoever has the pleasure of seeing them. In this design, guests will feel as if they are in a space almost out of science fiction, yet paradoxically, it is also accessible, within an arm’s reach.
FLOOR 2: NORMAN FOSTER
Elegance and flexibility
Foster personifies the elegance of hi-tech. This was his main goal, and to achieve it everything was inspired by the palette of materials of the Basque sculptor, Eduardo Chillida, a personal friend. In his oeuvre, Chillida explores natural materials and organic forms, which Foster has reinterpreted on the second floor of the Hotel Puerta America. He himself acknowledges that he has created a “perfect urban sanctuary”.
FLOOR 3: DAVID CHIPPERFIELD
Luxury and privacy
“Let us imagine a luxurious setting and a private space. We design a room using luxury materials, such as terracotta and marble, where you can also enjoy them. We think of a space pared down to the essentials, which would thus confer a certain importance on each element. It is rare to be asked to design a hotel room without having to adhere to any type of restrictions. Thus, this has been my opportunity to design the kind of room I would like to find in any hotel”. David Chipperfield starts from this idea, and designs a simple yet wholly welcoming space.
FLOOR 4: PLASMA STUDIO
An exercise in geometry
This is a young studio which managed to participate in this project upon winning a contest. Plasma Studio, made up of Eva Castro and Holger Kehne, has shown that it is in the vanguard of architecture with a bold project based on geometrical lines and cool materials such as stainless steel. Interest in complex shapes, everything digital and other working methods that depart from the norm are the cornerstones of Plasma Studio. Indeed, they themselves explain that they “attempted to avoid the stereotype of a hotel as an anodyne, homogeneous place” and that they immediately realised that this was not just any project, rather “a benchmark in contemporary architecture”.
FLOOR 5: VICTORIO & LUCCHINO
Fashion which bedecks an interior
Comfort and serenity are the two keywords that best define the work of Victorio & Lucchino in the Hotel Puerta America. The basic premise was to make guests feel comfortable, welcomed and nurtured by warm textures and colours that embrace, that seem to rock to sleep whomever stays in these rooms.
FLOOR 6: MARC NEWSON
The luxury and comfort of simplicity
Simplicity and comfort are the two adjectives that best describe Newson’s design on the sixth floor of the Hotel Puerta America. In his opinion, a hotel room should entice guests to relax from the very start; everything should be accessible, and there should be no one element that overshadows the others. “I have spent a great deal of time in hotel rooms all over the world, and this is a great chance to improve on all the things that have always bothered me about hotels”. His design conception almost verges on the naive; one scarcely senses that they are in a ‘designed space’.
FLOOR 7: RON ARAD
An interplay of sinuous shapes
It has been said of Ron Arad’s work that it has all the energy of modern art. His ideas seem to be inexhaustible, and all his pieces become commercial successes. At the Hotel Puerta America, he has designed a sinuous space with eminently luxurious details.
FLOOR 8: KATHRYN FRINDLAY
Light in motion
The innovation supporting the design by this Scottish architect is the creation of interactive space. Her interest in integrating technology and architecture is reflected in her collaboration with the interactive designer Jason Bruges. Both have achieved a provocative, surprising interior in which the guest has no choice but to get involved: there is simply no other option. What is more, all the internal divisions in the rooms are made using curtains; not even the closets have doors. As a whole, it is an extremely suggestive design with a highly feminine touch.
FLOOR 9: RICHARD GLUCKMAN
Boxes of colours
Gluckman’s idea is inspired by the “box within a box” concept, which helps to organise the approach to the different activities that can be carried out in such a small area as this. The goal is to distinguish the experience of being in a hotel from that of being at home. To this end, industrial materials such as aluminium, plastic and glass are used in quite unfamiliar ways. Gluckman’s concept is surprising due to its simple organisation of space and its luminosity, in addition to the absence of any superfluous elements.
FLOOR 10: ARATA ISOZAKI
In this space, Arata Isozaki seems to blend reality and fiction with a meticulously chosen combination of colours and materials, providing guests with a sensation of tranquillity and well-being in an area that stands out for its formal levity. Isozaki has brought the customs of his culture to the tenth floor of the Hotel Puerta America using premium materials. Guests discover a space full of oriental references, all gradually revealed as they undertake different activities within their room, such as taking a bath, opening a panel or watching TV.
FLOOR 11: J. MARISCAL & F. SALAS
The “good vibrations”
“Simple solutions without formal showiness or major technical complications; contained, functional, long-lasting, attempting to create visual perspectives in a habitat viewed as multifunctional, not as a mere bedroom”. That is how Javier Mariscal defines his work on the eleventh floor of the Hotel Puerta America.
FLOOR 12: JEAN NOUVEL
On the twelfth floor, the French architect has designed twelve suites where two names are of particular importance to the concept and design: the photographers Araki and Fleischer. As the original idea is that this floor be devoted to pleasure, the French architect has decided to use the walls to display the work of these two photographers, who play with interesting images of the human body and nature. The terrace and bar prevail on the hotel’s penthouse floor, as do a special small pool and spa. But there is no doubt that this floor’s true standout is its impressive views of Madrid.
RESTAURANT: CHRISTIAN LIAIGRE
At the entrance to the hotel, on the left, is the restaurant, called Lagrimas Negras or Black Tears.
RECEPTION DESK: JOHN PAWSON
Although this is a relatively small project in terms of area, with just 150 m2 in comparison with the 1,200 m2 for each floor, John Pawson has achieved an impressive space using a limited range of materials.
COCTAIL BAR: MARC NEWSON
The whole bar can be seen from the reception area thanks to the giant glass doors at its entrance. It is an American concept: providing a venue to see and be seen.
CAR PARK: TERESA SAPEY
Stimulus of colours
“As time goes by I’m more and more convinced that car parks are urban spaces that until now have been largely ignored. I am fascinated by how a space in which functionality is the key can simultaneously appeal to an individual’s emotional side”. A simple iconographic code on the walls leads the guest through the garage. There is no doubt that her design should be viewed as a fitting introduction to the dreaming, free spirit of the Hotel Puerta America. And this freedom begins right from the most hidden core of the building.