Return to retro

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EUROPE: The Vintage Design Hotel Sax, which celebrates its third anniversary this year, is fitted out with original retro furnishing from the 50s to the 70s. The design is by Jaromír Pizinger from Prague-based interior design firm, Morix.

Based in the Czech Republic since 1999, Morix works on the reconstruction and redesign of historical locations, as a nod to the number of cultural monuments in the Czech city. Having already refurbished four theatres, it is now working on the interiors of restaurants, bars, shops, showrooms, offices and hotels.

The 4-star hotel is in a historical part of Prague called Mala Strana (‘lesser town’), close to Prague Castle. Its interiors are meant to give people a sense of nostalgia and take them back to the 1950s-1970s. Some of the original period furniture includes those by designers from that era. It houses 22 vintage design rooms spread over four floors. The décor in each room is individual and different.


The furniture used in the hotel isn’t new furniture distressed to look like vintage pieces. Instead, Pizinger and his team used almost all original items from the era. Items were bought from a series of worldwide auctions. The vintage designer furnishings in each room primarily consist of restored original pieces by artists such as Andy Warhol, Luigi Colani, Harvey Guzinni, Verner Panton, EeroSaarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames.

Pizinger said the brief was to design a hotel in the city that would look nothing like what was already on the market. He said the firm persuaded the hotel owners with its concept and outlined the marketing benefits of the venue.

“Because the hotel is located in the medieval heart of Prague, we tried to create an original concept. In addition, we took the trend of using vintage items for the interiors, which was not sufficiently popular in Bohemia, to the market,” added Pizinger.

When the contract was given to Morix, it was time consuming for the designers to hunt for interesting contemporary originals at auctions and carry out the refurbishment in a short period of time. The team worked fast and within 12 months of submitting its initial plans, the hotel opened.

The only challenge the firm faced, aside from working to a deadline, was convincing the client the end result would be worthwhile. Pizinger said there were moments when the project could have been cancelled, but the design team’s confidence and enthusiasm in kept it on-track.

“Our inspiration came from the creativity and an interest in the design of that age,” added Pizinger. The firm is satisfied with the final result. “It is our opinion that when the client gives a free hand to designers and architects and trusts them, the result is integrated and harmonic,” he said.

Morix is now working on the interiors of two bars and cafes, four family seats and two historic building refurbishments in Prague.

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