In the white city of Beograd, GRAFT transformed the historic “Old Mill” into a 4 Star hotel. The interior concept enhances the existing historical structures with new materials, colors and shapes, activating the original qualities of the cultural monument, creating a unique visual experience. The main entrance of the hotel, with lobby and reception area, bar and restaurant, is located in the existing building complex. The newly built high-rises accommodate the guestrooms and suites, as well as spa, fitness and service areas. The guest arrives on a new plaza, which features old granite stones and iron columns rescued from the Old Mill. The lobby receives the hotel guests with an industrial, open and authentic atmosphere. Reclaimed materials, like bricks from the historical building, were repaired and re-integrated. Also the backdrop of the reception counter was made from old machines. Although being transferred into a modern architectural language, natural materials, such as oak and copper, refer to the site. Structurally necessary concrete incision was kept rough, in order to compliment the overall look. These heterogenic materials and functions are than contrasted by a giant white structure, fusing them into a spatial continuum. This public and rough attitude gradually shifts into a more private and soft environment in the guestrooms. The materials metal and stone are replaced by wood and textile generating a cozy and comforting quality. The concrete structure stays unclad as reminiscence to the industrial heritage and layered with a wall painting as an intellectual place for narration and spatial extension. The rooms also feature enormous windows, customized furniture and open bright bathrooms. There are 236 guestrooms and 14 suites with balconies on the top floors as well as a conference center, a banquet hall and an exclusive business lounge. The overall concept of re-contextualization fuses local heritage and contemporary design into a singular whole.
GRAFT was founded in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, and Thomas Willemeit and operates internationally in the fields of urban development, architecture, and design. The hybrid office with further locations in Berlin and Beijing is characterized by its innovative and interdisciplinary design method and its futuristic design language.