HBA London has designed the new Amadria Park Capital hotel in the center of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Working in collaboration with project developers, Ugo Group, Zagreb, HBA London has converted a heritage property dating back to 1923, which was previously a bank, into a stylish boutique hotel full of residential charm and sense of place.
The new stylish hotel is located on the important thoroughfare of Jurisiceva Street close to Jelacic Square, which is today a buzzing destination characterized by delightful local shops, cafes, and restaurants. Once, however, the street was no more than a country road, winding its way through gardens and fields, and this rural past is referenced in the décor of both public and guest areas of this boutique hotel, in delicate floral decorative details and generous indoor planting. The hotel’s bespoke interiors combine the original and the new design with a deft touch, embracing the building’s historic character as a significant example of Secessionist architecture and translating this into interior design that is light, fresh and elegant with a touch of romanticism.
The public areas in Amadria Park Capital hotel take meaning from Gesamtkunstwerk – they are a work of art that makes use of many art forms. These include the original, classically carved mahogany-clad columns which were removed during construction and then reinstated, as well as listed ceiling features, light fittings, and magnificent arched windows. They also include new design pieces which reflect the influences of 20th Century design, such as softly draped curtains and a variety of seating furniture collections, and some restored antique furniture discovered in the building, now joined by new seating, including plush banquettes. Altogether, the hotel interiors uniquely belong within this heritage building in the Croatian capital. The public areas are planned as a series of rooms, reinforcing the suggestion of a private home overlaid with something of the winter garden, thanks to high ceilings, touches of Viennese-style detailing and an abundance of large pot plants. The color palette is reminiscent of the lovely rooftops of old Zagreb.
Reception design created the ambiance of a refined and intimate parlor. The two small reception desks would be equally at home in the design of a private residence. The soft color palette begins here – in reception combining pale blue and grey nuances with crystal and satin gold – and behind the desks’ custom-designed sliding doors with panels of opaque and patterned glass obscure the bar beyond.
The bar is glamorous, yet also of a residential scale – the epitome of the Secessionist soul. A marble-topped bar with a sculptural tiled front sits in the center of the space under three beautiful contemporary chandeliers and an elegantly decorated ceiling which gives a nod to the building’s Art Nouveau inheritance. Guests can choose to either sip their cocktails perched on upholstered bar stools or to relax in comfortable wicker armchairs.
The café extends along one length of the façade and offers a variety of seating options from a marble-topped sharing table to deep armchairs arranged around low tables and dining tables with European brasserie-style dining chairs. The color palette is of soft green and yellow hues, velvets, trims, and patterns predominate in the upholstery and there are multiple floor-standing pots containing large vertiginous plants. The café also doubles up as the hotel’s main event space with heavy velvet curtains that can be drawn across for privacy and carefully integrated technology.
Overscaled illustrations in the café are by David Doran, and the central artwork in the dining room is by the young Croatian artist, Mario Matakovic, who repurposes his old work into new compositions with an original aesthetic – a fitting allegory for the entire design vision.
The restaurant design continues the “indoor garden” narrative with generous amounts of planting all around. The original mahogany cladding of the old banking hall is imposing but softened by delicate original wall lights restored by HBA London and complemented by the continuing hues of fresh green and golden highlights. In the center of the hotel restaurant, a large ceiling light suggests a contemporized version of classic European dining room luminaires.
Vibrant Guest Spaces
Original, listed staircases lead up to light-filled bedroom corridors that wrap around a central courtyard. They are elegantly designed with details such as folkloric-inspired patterned carpets and punchy-blue guestroom doors.
Guestrooms are especially residential in feel with a pretty palette of pink, pale yellow and blue colors, and contemporary Italian timber flooring from Berti. These are joyful hotel rooms, filled with natural light thanks to their large windows and high ceilings and with design details that give a nod to the rural past of this location. Hotel bathrooms are classically styled with marble-topped vanity, checkerboard tiled floor, and a walk-in shower with fittings by Grohe.
The artwork in the hotel rooms and corridors has been curated by HBA and Muzeo. It is composed of both handwritten and illustrative pieces as well as work inspired by textiles and crafts. Traditional, contemporary and contextual, the artwork lends insights into the heartbeat of the city of Zagreb, both past, and present.
The Bel Étage houses the grander suites. This historic floor is strictly protected so design changes were constrained and HBA London focused on the selection of new furniture and accessories. “This has been a very special project because the client gave us creative free rein to think afresh and design a hotel that is different for Zagreb. We were blessed with the Secessionist and Art Nouveau heritage, and this lovely period for design infuses the new interiors which are fresh, playful and a little magical within a sometimes imposing architectural form. There will be something of a Croatian fairy tale to the guest experience.” Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London
The original building was designed in 1921 by Viennese architects Ernst Gotthilf and Alexander Neumann who specialized in designing landmark bank buildings in central Europe.