RAFFLES HOTEL EUROPEJSKI RESTAURANT
Projekt Warszawa sp z o. o.
In the heart of Warsaw stands the Raffles Hotel Europejski, a testament to resilience and rebirth. Once nearly obliterated by the ravages of WWII and later subjected to the cold indifference of the Soviet era, this architectural gem has witnessed epochs of tumult and transformation. The narrative of this hotel is deeply intertwined with the Czertwentinski family, the original prewar proprietors, who after years of struggle, reclaimed their heritage.
When the opportunity arose to breathe new life into the hotel's restaurant, the challenge was clear: How does one craft an interior design that pays homage to the past while embracing the future? How does one provide architectural solutions that resonate with the hotel's storied past, yet remain relevant in today's world?
Our vision for the Hotel Europejski Restaurant was to create a space that abstracts history, drawing inspiration from the decorative elements that once graced the hotel before its near destruction. We envisioned a contemporary reinterpretation of ornamental ceiling moldings and other classical decorative elements, using modern digital and physical production techniques. The result? A harmonious blend of past and present, where history is not merely replicated but reimagined.
Oscar Zieta’s innovative inflatable stainless steel mirrors became the cornerstone of our design. These mirrors, with their unique form and texture, were repurposed as compositional elements, giving birth to a new, contemporary version of 'decorative molding'. This approach, combined with Zieta’s 'Prozessdesign' system, allowed us to craft a ceiling pattern that would become the restaurant's defining feature.
But our vision went beyond mere aesthetics. We wanted the restaurant to be a celebration of Polish craftsmanship and heritage. The inter-war period in Poland was a time of artistic flourishing, marked by exquisite cubist designs, decorative utensils, and furniture that showcased impeccable craftsmanship. Our design sought to evoke this era, blending contemporary interpretations with actual pre-war artifacts. The proposed Czetwertyński Salon, for instance, would serve as a tribute to these bygone treasures.
The layering of materials became a central theme in our design philosophy. By juxtaposing materials of varying textures, reflectivity, and hardness, we aimed to craft an interior that exuded luxury and depth. This layering, combined with a careful selection of complementary materials and colors, would result in an interior that was both sophisticated and inviting.
In our quest to create a modern interpretation of the past, we collaborated with contemporary Polish product and furniture designers. Drawing inspiration from prewar designers like Marian Sigmund, Jan Kurzątkowski, and Wojciech Jastrzębowski, we envisioned decorative finishes in precious veneers, luxurious upholstery interpretations, and geometric patterns. Furthermore, we proposed the use of iconic Polish porcelain collections from the 1930s and silverware from renowned Warsaw producers, ensuring that every detail, down to the cutlery and porcelain, resonated with history.
In essence, our design for the Hotel Europejski Restaurant is a symphony of casual fine-dining and restaurant design, where every element, from the ceiling moldings to the choice of porcelain, tells a story. It is a space where guests can immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of history and luxury, all while enjoying the finest culinary delights.