NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

D/DOCK lead architect NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.

NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, one of the most famous hotels of the Netherlands located on Dam Square in Amsterdam, has undergone a major transformation. This follows the acquisition of the building by the European AXA Real Estate Investment Managers. D/DOCK, Designer of the MICES areas, developed a partnership with the Spanish interior designer Ramon Esteve for the design of the guest rooms. The public spaces were designed by the London interior design practice, Studio Proof (Interior Designer of public spaces, and bar and restaurants). Together with C&R Hospitality Services, they formed the design team for the renovation and restyling of this 38,000 m2 iconic hotel.

Whoever enters the hotel, immediately understands why this hotel has been so popular over the years. The NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, which was once a coffee house in the 19th century, has become one of the leading hotels and restaurants of the capital and is the perfect base for travellers who opt for luxury and quality. The goal was to adapt this great hotel to a conference hotel incorporating the rich history of both the hotel and the city of Amsterdam. “We wanted to ensure the cohesion of the property, a huge challenge in a complex consisting of five different buildings,” says Coen van Dijck, Managing Director of D/DOCK.

‘Feel the extraordinairy’. This was the metaphor chosen by D/DOCK in 2013 when formulating the new hotel
concept, which is expressed in pillars such as luxury, recognisability, originality and experience. This is the first time that the complex has undergone a complete make-over. The approach has been based on the history of the hotel. The magnificent archive provided an insight. The hotel has always been at the forefront; it had electric lighting and its own generator very early on, which was very special at the time. Because of the size of the hotel, the hallways were very important in the translation of the concept. To create a sense of direction and structure, the flooring design contains clear line patterns. This was also done with the lighting concept with dimmed luminaires, which creates peace and intimacy. These hallways tell a historical story.

The 451 hotel rooms, completed in 2015, are divided into standard rooms, suites and two special suites called the Presidential Suite and the Royal Suite. D/DOCK and Esteve created two room concepts to unify the history of the hotel and the future of the city: ‘Modern Classic’ and ‘Classic Modern’. Both concepts have an open bathroom, inspired by the hotel being the first in the city to have rooms with own sanitary. To break with the traditional décor, the bed stands like an island in the space. “We have designed rooms that are extremely luxurious, with use of rich materials. But it is not over the top.” The history of the complex also determined the design. “Each one had to be designed differently. The complex consists of different buildings, and no room is alike,” says Francesco Messori, Design Director at D/DOCK.

Guests enter the Krasnapolsky directly from Dam Square. By opening the façade, the relationship with this world famous square is reinforced. It creates a glass gateway to the city and it invites the busy city into the Krasnapolsky. The new canopy is striking and invites you to enter the hotel. Guests enter the lobby, which has become a dramatic connecting space for all the ground floor areas.
The use of classic/modern colours and materials has created a stylish space with a relaxing atmosphere. In this dynamic area, people can wait, relax or work.

The social aspect is prioritised in the public areas. How do visitors, guests and personnel move, how do they meet? The public spaces are inspired by the Krasnapolsky from the twenties. The connection between the different buildings and spaces is formed by a central inner street.

Adjacent to the lobby is the Grand Café Krasnapolsky, a place where guests, professionals and local visitors can enjoy lunch and dinner, coffee and tea, and a special assortment of homemade cakes in the Cake Room. Striking in this space is the hors-d’oeuvre bar where chefs prepare fresh salads and small meals in front of you. The large windows provide a view on Dam Square.

Walking back through the lobby, you will find the ‘The Tailor Bar’: the heart of the hotel. This space is inspired by the original profession of Mr Krasnapolsky himself. Here, the best gins and liqueurs of neighbour Wynand Fockink are often used in tailor-made Krasnapolsky cocktails. The bar offers an intimate atmosphere through the use of warm colours and rich fabrics that are found in the velvet wall coverings and chairs. A hidden room, also called the ‘Snug Lounge’, is the ideal place for a private party and provides immediate access to the covered terrace.

The central interior street also borders the monumental ‘Winter Garden’, built in 1880. When entering, you take the new natural stone staircase to a beautiful black and white chequered floor. This impressive space hosts the breakfast in the morning and meeting and event opportunities throughout the rest of the day. French folding doors ensure that adjoining rooms can be merged with the
winter garden. An update which unites history and future.

‘The White Room’ (the former ‘Reflet’), the sixty seat restaurant run by star chef Jacob Jan Boerma, has also been given a makeover. This space is the oldest restaurant in Amsterdam still with many elements of its original design and is a place where hotel guests and visitors can enjoy culinary dishes. The modern styling with crescent shaped large white sofas combines flawlessly with the original wall elements and gives the restaurant a new identity. The food is prepared in the newly remodelled kitchen. A whole new foundation was laid here, as it were open heart surgery.

In February 2016, NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky won the “National Meeting Award’ for ‘Best Meeting and Event Location Netherlands’ in the category Large (> 250 people). The hotel has seventeen meeting rooms, spread over two floors. The rooms were given new names along with the restyling. The diamond theme is also reflected here. There are the ‘Emerald’, ‘Topaz’, ‘Diamond’, ‘Asher’ and ‘Ruby’, ‘Jade’ and ‘Volmer’ rooms containing diamond-inspired chandeliers. Notable are the graphic designs of the rugs, designed by D/DOCK. Inspiration for this were the designs used in the twenties. The Grand Ballroom in particular is an immense space. Thanks to the design of the carpet, the rooms seem more intimate, smaller and suitable for large and small gatherings.

The monumental façade on the side of Dam Square has been kept. The front view has been modernised as necessary, but the original features have been maintained. Classical awnings have been replaced by modern ones. The view is luxurious, a real eyecatcher on the most famous square of Amsterdam. The interior matches the exterior and tells the city: we’re back.

The façade on the St. Jansstraat has also been modernised, as it provides access to the parking lot in order to create more social security.

When exiting the hotel, one thing strikes you: its crown. The new illuminated Krasnapolsky logo reinforces the restyling and completes it.

Messori: “I am very proud of the result. The opening of the Krasnapolsky is a milestone for us. “We had to be very flexible, and be prepared to adjust things during the implementation. Moreover, we had to respect the history of the hotel.
NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, one of a kind, is ready for a new beginning.
Experience and ‘Feel the extraordinairy’ ...

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About D/DOCK

D/DOCK is an Amsterdam based concept and design studio specialized in interior design, project management and consultancy.

Our main drive is the development and realization of spaces, buildings and concepts offering an added value to its users. This added value can be found in smart business solutions, but can also be focused on health, economy or experience.

By thinking not only from a design and conceptual perspective, but also from a project management and consultancy point of view, a design process with maximum control is resulting that accommodates our clients.

We are a group of 35 architects, interior architects, project managers, concept designers, stylists and graphic designers collaborating to realize each project on the highest possible level.