Once a busy industrial port, now the banks of the river Spree east of the Oberbaumbrücke support the big guns of the music industry. Just steps from the headquarters of Universal Music, architects nps Tchoban Voss created a huge shining cantilever atop the nhow hotel that references the site’s industrial past and provides a reflective cube for musicians to work in. The interior by Karim Rashid immerses guests in a technicolour interpretation of the digital age. Homedit stepped into a bright white electronic music themed lift and rode up to the roof terrace for a new view on Berlin.
The bold design outside strikes a chord with the vivid interior treatment.
Renowned industrial and interior designer Rashid speaks of his aim to create an experience offering all the possibilities of the digital world
I always question whether the physical world is as experiential, as seductive, as connective, as inspiring, as personalizable, and customizable as the digital world. that is what I tried to achieve with nhow hotel Berlin by making a space that coexists with the data-driven digital infosthetic world.
This approach makes for fun decision making in the lift lobby, where you choose which elevator to step into based on the different music and mood it offers.
There’s a bar, lounge with a stage set for concerts and a restaurant on the level of the river, with tables and chairs spilling out onto the steps outside.
The experience is intense, full of strong curves, electric brights and rock memorabilia, you could forget this building provides somewhere to sleep!
Thankfully within the rooms themselves the palette is more muted and the mirrored base of the cantilever reflects dappled light into the courtyard.
The end of the cantilever is fully glazed whilst the underside is clad in polished aluminium. Digipop artwork frames each bed and custom technorganic patterns are printed onto recyclable wooden laminate flooring.
The penthouse features a freestanding bath from which you could serenade the city, curvilinear coaches and a flatscreen within a large rotating disc that you can simply flip away from you when you’ve finished watching TV in bed.
Berlin is home to over 700 music companies located side by side with museums, theaters, clubs and concert venues. It fits that it should be home to Europe’s first music hotel. Recording suites, music managers and hotel staff plucked from music colleges are on standby for guests.
If that perfect riff comes to you during your morning shower, you can order a Gibson guitar or keyboard via room service to practice with, or head to the studio to lay down some tracks.
Such a signature piece of architecture set against a background of the increasing pressure on Berlin’s free spirited music scene, tough licensing legislation, and the disappearance of many much loved music venues due to development was bound to feel uncomfortable for some.
The Mediaspree development area is at the crux of ongoing changes in Berlin with protests from many who would prefer to see people rather than corporations at the centre of urban design.
Nhow does invite the public in, one way is to bring in new visual artists on a regular basis. New contemporary artwork is hung within the stripped back polished concrete exhibition spaces, you can check their website to find out what’s on next.