Recognised at the AHEAD Awards Europe 2019 in the Hotel Newbuild category, is PURO – an outstanding flagship hotel in the heart of Kazimierz, Krakow’s historic Jewish quarter in Poland.
The project was carried out for Genfer Hotels, with Hotel Inwest as main contractors.
In recent years Kazimierz has emerged as a thriving hub for creativity, drawing a new generation of tourists to the area, and this ambiance was skilfully reflected in the design of the new hotel.
ASW Architekci was enlisted to develop the scheme internally and approached Conran and Partners to design the internal spaces. Their collaborative design concept was ‘Bohemian Modern’, representing a ‘Bohemian’ fusion between the energy, history, authenticity and art culture of the location with the dynamic, progressive ‘modern’ brand principles of PURO.
This was achieved by emphasising the brand’s passion for contemporary art, design-led furniture and forward-looking hospitality. This conceptual narrative provided a rich source of inspiration for the creation of a distinct PURO hotel firmly rooted in its location.
The overall scheme provides 228 guestrooms, with a wellness and fitness facility, breakout and lounge spaces, restaurant, bakery, workshop and events spaces.
The front elevation comprises two split buildings, opening the space of Halicka Street down a sloping corner towards Przemyska, opening the road to Starowislna.
The key external challenge was to design a space that would seamlessly blend in with its surroundings and complement the adjoining houses and neighbourhoods. The hotel is formed of two blocks positioned at an obtuse angle to preserve light flow into the neighbouring spaces. The design then includes secondary partitions in the central elevation, three-dimensional structures, and various threads of vertical and horizontal brick patterns to invoke architectural interest, while giving the impression of a series of smaller buildings weaving into the existing fabric.
Internally, the design clearly references elements of the area’s past, including its industrial heritage, while maintaining a strong residential feel. The result is a hotel designed to welcome and encourage guests to inhabit the ground floor spaces through morning, noon and night.
The café, restaurant and bar incorporate a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, with private pockets of space where guests can enjoy moments of tranquillity away from the bustle outside.
The main design challenge of the interior was to subtly present guests with the story of the hotel’s relationship to Kazimierz without conflicting with the contemporary style of the PURO brand. The overall palette was inspired by the Jewish quarter, drawing inspiration from the pastel colours and exposed brickwork of its old market square and ageing buildings.
The design palette includes a mix of raw natural materials such as terracotta, faded bronze and reclaimed timber, and bold splashes of colour balanced with the black-and-white layered tones of the PURO brand. A base palette runs cohesively throughout the hotel and is adapted in key spaces to give a defined personality and character to each of them.
PURO perfectly encapsulates the brand’s ethos, providing a creative and artistic environment that aims to be a benchmark for all future sites. The emphasis on art and creativity flows seamlessly through the hotel’s spaces and into the guest rooms with locally-inspired artwork including bold graffiti, cityscape collages and a neon-style light installation.