Last word

Tina Norden

First designed by Eva Jiřičná and now refurbished by Conran and Partners, Prague’s Hotel Maximilian has reopened with a bold, playful new look


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Opened in 1995 and renovated in 2005 by Czech architect Eva Jiřičná, Hotel Maximilian has reopened after a refurbishment programme by Conran and Partners.

Hotel owners Christian and Rudolf Ploberger commissioned Conran and Partners to create contemporary interiors with a ‘clear and compelling personality’ for the 71 bedroom hotel. The Ploberger brothers – who also own the Hotel Josef in Prague – wanted to use the renovation as an opportunity to contrast Josef’s starker, iconic style with a softer, more playful style at Maximilian.

“Maximilian presented us with interesting challenges,” says Tina Norden, partner, Conran and Partners. “It consists of two different buildings with different architectural styles, which are connected on the ground floor by a linear series of previously underutilised public areas. Our challenge was to open up and unify these spaces to create a coherent and engaging journey for guests and visitors.”

The refurbishment covers the 71 guest rooms, plus the reconfiguration of existing ground floor areas to create new public spaces including a café/bar, brasserie, library and event space with courtyard garden, alongside a full refurbishment of the bijou existing basement spa.

“We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional,” says Norden.

“Colour features very strongly in the rooms as well, combining a deep blue with softer highlights and warm oak joinery, textured glass, mirror and brass details. The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving, while the artwork celebrates the Czech avant-garde movement, including photomontages by Karel Teige.

“Our aim was to redefine Maximilian with a clear and compelling personality which is grounded in the local context.”

Bespoke lighting elements designed by Conran and Partners, and made by Czech manufacturer Sans Souci, feature throughout the public areas and a contemporary chandelier crafted from handmade Czech glass was created for the living room and library spaces. Artwork plays a key part in the design, based on pieces the owners had already, combined with prints of iconic Teige collages and contemporary pieces inspired by his works.

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