Opening its doors at the beginning of March 2015, the ‘Kameha Grand Zurich’ designed by Marcel Wanders is a hotel that celebrates the rich heritage of Switzerland. Inside unique elements of the local culture warmly welcome international guests. It is a place that could only exist in Zurich, with no other interiors like it. Here we present the photography from this new hotel to show a glimpse of the wonderful experience awaiting those who visit. The hotel is situated in a prominent new business area of Zurich, called Glattpark, and accommodates accordingly with large spaces and suites for conventions, business meetings and other events. This includes the ‘Kameha Dome’, a 710 square meter multi-use space recalling the grandeur of a ballroom.
From the moment people enter the lobby with its grand staircase and introduction to the unifying elements of the hotel, their journey begins. Majestic, festive and unpredictable decors act as backdrop for a series of Swiss-inspired elements, such as chocolate-patterned wall panelling, mini-bars modeled after a safe, lamps that resemble oversized cow bells, Toblerone shaped sofas, among others. Throughout the 224 guest rooms, 2 executive suites, 6 state-of-the-art business suites, conference and event spaces, an Italian and a Japanese gourmet restaurants, a bar, a smoker’s and shisha lounge, a spa and 11 themed suites Marcel Wanders created a series of bespoke interiors.
Each space is carefully orchestrated featuring warming woods, a mix of custom-made furniture, tactile upholstery, iconic lamps and stylish sofas. To ensure there is value for all guests, the visual, emotional and rational aspects have been considered from all sorts of viewpoints. This is done primarily by making the guest feel at home. The ideas and design itself also respects all the people who work in the hotel and incentivize towards high-end hospitality, creating a sense of generosity so that each guest can genuinely feel honored. Various types of themed suites further establish the desire to meet all kinds of possible preferences: the Diva, the Serenity, the Princess, the Burlesque, the Gentleman, The Fair Play, the Workout, the Ghostwriter, the Poker Face, the Watchmaker, and the Oriental Suite.
Guests are also made aware of where they are. The place tells a story, using archetypes, to evoke a sense of belonging and familiarity in an unexpected way. The most memorable and exciting aspects are picked from the Swiss culture and represented in the design, from walls covered in gold coins or chocolate bricks, to different kinds of tulips and other flowers found on the myriad of carpet designs and ornamental detailing, to safes present in every room.
There is continuity between hotels designed by Marcel Wanders, but each is completely different. The same holds true for the ‘Kameha Grand Zurich’. However, within the interior there is a throughline of concepts, objects and techniques. At the entrance of the hotel is a handcrafted Swiss bell. In itself a wonder of design and technique, this signature element of Marcel Wanders is a gesture of gathering people together and making them feel welcome.
This same bell can be found in the Japanese restaurant, where it derives an entirely different meaning while it remains fitting to the setting. Another example is the piece found on the headboard in the ‘Deluxe Suite’, which is based on the traditional Swiss technique Scherenschnitte, a type of paper cutting art. Transported to the Japanese setting, the same technique invokes the art of the shadow play. Among these inventive uses of elements are more surprises that go beyond the expected fittings of a hotel. A shisha lounge with Eastern designs and authentic offerings provides a relaxing haven for travelers. In the bathroom hangs a chandelier, creating a regal feeling during your morning and evening rituals.
Approached holistically, the design of the ‘Kameha Grand Zurich’ is locally embedded, achieved by respecting and drawing from the past with a contemporary twist, and overall surprising and internationally appealing. As Marcel says about the project: “Others deliver an interior design, but we offer a reason for a visit, we create a destination.”
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