INTERIORS+DESIGN for architects

Opened January 2014 in Oberschleißheim near Munich, Germany, Hotel-Kompetenz-Zentrum (HKZ), or centre for hotel design excellence, is a permanent, continually updated hotel design “shopping centre” and exhibition of interior and technological innovations for guestrooms, corridors, bars, cafés and reception lobbies within a 5500 sq. m hospitality conference, training, and education facility. With a brief and undisclosed budget to transform nearly 1000 sq. m into a gallery of hotel design ideas, interior architects JOI-Design curated a showroom where developers, operators and managers can test wide-ranging products, concepts, and facility management software from around 200 companies in simulated yet real-time settings. One suite and ten guestrooms ranging from three - five stars, reception areas, a working bar/café, corridors in various styles, lighting collections and a frequently refreshed materials library together form a three-dimensional design encyclopaedia illustrating the interplay of ideas, technologies and services for hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, senior residences and wellness centres.

Across from the curvilinear white Corian reception desk is a jigsaw configuration of contemporary seating animated by polished stainless wall-hung “mirrors”. Fitted with four state-of-the-art workstations where different types of operational software can be tested, a second reception counter features a façade depicting graceful tree branches as a suggestion of the soothing calm found in nature. Across from the café bar sits a collage of stylish armchairs and barstools illuminated by quirky lights. Seven different crystal chandeliers hung at various lengths within a three-story stairwell offer close-up views to help visitors assess proper scale and suspension heights.

Bedroom prototypes correspond with distinct guest profiles, from a luxurious urban business hotel to a family-oriented mountain resort. A guestroom with modern Italian flair is adjacent to an idea for converted office buildings: an open-plan “budget” room with simulated sunlight emanating from a false window. Fully operational equipment, including height-adjustable toilets and washbasins for disabled and elderly guests, can be explored.

Responsible for the overall construction management and the space-planning, concept, procurement, delivery and installation of each space, the designers’ primary challenge was balancing diverse styles, materials, spatial allowances and prices to ensure selections fulfilled specific requirements. This mix of diversity and ease guarantees an optimal decision-making method for investors, operators, hoteliers, architects and designers.