Grzywinski+Pons designed Locke at the East Side Gallery Hotel in Berlin
Glass doors, custom-designed furniture and natural textures draw on Locke’s waterside location at Berlin’s East Side Gallery Hotel by architecture studio Grzywinski + Pons.
Located in the inner-city district of Friedrichshain, Locke at East Side Gallery features 176 studio apartments equipped with kitchenettes and living areas, for short stays up to longer rentals as part of the Locke Group’s “home to hotel” format.
For the interiors, Matt Grzywinski of Grzywinski+Pons told Dezeen that he wanted “the look and feel to be expressive and aspirational, but also comfortable and even calm.”
“I wanted to see if it could be exciting and soothing at the same time,” he said.
This duality is reflected in the hotel’s location facing, in one direction, the River Spree and the riverfront courtyards on the opposite bank in Kreuzberg. The other side of the building, facing a busy road, overlooks the Mediaspree skyline of offices and hotels.
The interior design takes its cues from the building’s compact location. Custom furnace glass was made for the glass panels in the rooms, which have the same character as the surface of the River Spree in the grazing light. Most suites have private balconies with river or skyline views.
“The Spree is a very calm river, and the light reflecting off its gently textured surface is a key element of the views from the hotel,” Grzywinski told Dezeen.
The raw concrete walls mimic the remains of the Berlin Wall, which is located directly in front of the hotel on the Friedrichshain side.
The designer said: “I try to employ texture to provide comfort and warmth in spaces, or, on the contrary, to contrast it with elegant or shiny surfaces.”
In the rooms, the palette of wood, concrete and decorative glass is enlivened with soft, pastel furnishings, including turmeric chairs, pastel mirrors, braided grass rugs, and suede and rattan headboards and screens.
“Color for me is intuitive,” Grzewinski explained. “Blush, mint, and orange—powder tones that I thought served as a nice foil to the largely neutral and monochromatic, even industrial, context.”
Grzywinski+Pons designed the majority of the room’s furniture, but also customized the lighting and some other pieces including Jacques Biny bedside wall lights, which were incorporated into the custom bedheads, and BRDR Krueger chairs to complement the studio’s dining tables.
The ground floor features a free co-working area for guests and locals, including a café and bar for music lovers, as well as the Anima restaurant.
Designed as a dedicated space for audiophiles, Anima’s eating, drinking and listening concept was inspired by Japanese hi-fi cafés “kissaten”, which predated affordable home stereos.
The restaurant said it hopes to help guests “connect with the music and with each other in a warm atmosphere.”
The social spaces on the ground floor resemble gallery space used for art exhibitions and community events.
The benches and built-in planters are made from locally sourced brick composed of recycled sand and lime. The furnishings reflect the broader design treatment in a range of woods, cane, fabric and rope.
“With the furniture and installations approaching the tactile level, I introduced color and texture that I hope will harmonize, and contrast with, the raw public spaces,” Grzywinski said.
“The wall curtains literally go from gray to red with the ombre print,” he continued.
“I wanted the hotel to embody some of the quirky charm that Berlin has, where you can feel like you’re in the middle of a vast, dynamic avant-garde city, which is also a peaceful haven.”
Since opening its first site in 2016, Locke has expanded to 14 sites across the UK and mainland Europe, with sites set to open in Zurich, Copenhagen, Lisbon and Paris next year.
Other hotels recently featured on Dezeen include The Hoxton Charlottenburg by AIME Studios in Berlin and Cowley Manor Experimental in the UK’s Cotswolds, designed by Dorothy Melichson.
Photography by Nicholas Worley.