Hungary: For the first time since Budapest’s Kempinski Corvinus Hotel’s creation in 1992 by Jozsef Finta, the interior has undergone a complete transition, led by none other than one of England’s top design firms, MKV Design.
The areas that experienced the most thorough transformation include the lobby as well as the rest of the public areas, such as the food and beverage spaces.
Maria Vafiadis, founder and managing director, MKV Design commented: “In the lobby, we transformed the space by amplifying its structure, making some of what was already there more theatrical.
“[This included] the structural columns, and removing an old-fashioned retail area to make way for the new and sculptural grand staircase and, alongside it, the new bar with its own street entrance. ‘The Living Room’ replaces a previous lounge area, which somewhat lacked a personality of its own, and ‘The Promenade’ is essentially an entirely new space, reinvented as a destination in its own right rather than just a thoroughfare to the function rooms.”
The lobby, which had previously been considered imposing and stark, as well as the food and beverage spaces such as Blue Fox, The Living Room, ES Bisztro and The Promenade have each been designated their own brand identities, allowing for a variety of fine and casual dining areas and experiences.
With the main entrance overlooking one of the city’s busiest roads, and with the sky being visible through the glazed roof of the atrium, the refurbishment centred on a number of consistent material and design essentials.
Additionally, the redesign bared a heavy focus on maintaining the hotel’s cultural and historic connection with the city. Having represented Hungary’s rise in the European scene following the fall of the Soviet Block, the hotel’s redesign incorporated a number of aspects that evoke the region’s tradition and culture.
“We felt the experience should flow in and out, and we chose materials to support this, both strong outdoor materials and tactile interior fabrics…We chose a mix of materials that make the public areas feel cosy in winter and fresh in summer.
“We replaced the prevailing granite with a warmer stone; we used mosaics since these are widely seen in the courtyards of Buda-pest and metal because the metal gates of Budapest are such a significant feature in the city. At the same time, we used a lot of velvet in the upholstery because this is warm and cocooning. The overall impression is now of a softer environment than before the refurbishment,” explained the managing director.