Project: "Old Mill Hotel Belgrade"
Designer(s): GRAFT, United States
Category: Interior Design, Professional
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Entry Description: 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.

About the Designer/Company
GRAFT was established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by Lars Krueckeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. Further offices followed in Berlin, Germany in 2001 and Beijing, China in 2004. GRAFT was conceived as a ‘Label’ for Architecture, Urban Planning, Design, Music and the “pursuit of happiness”. Since the firm was established, it has been commissioned to design and manage a wide range of projects in multiple disciplines and locations. With the core of the firm’s enterprises gravitating around the field of architecture and the built environment, GRAFT has always maintained an interest in crossing the boundaries between disciplines and “grafting” the creative potentials and methodologies of different realities. This is reflected in the firm’s expansion into the fields of exhibition design and product design, art installations, academic projects and “events” as well as in the variety of project locations in Germany, China, UAE, Russia, Georgia, in the U.S. and Mexico, to name a few. Our collective professional experience encompasses a wide array of building types including Fine Arts, Educational, Institutional, Commercial and Residential facilities. The firm has won numerous international awards. With a staff of talented architectural professionals and administrators, GRAFT has the resources and technology necessary to execute a project from programming to design and through construction, including construction documents, construction administration, and governmental agency review phases. GRAFT has rigorously undertaken an increasing role in programming, master-planning and urban design. Additionally, our firm maintains successful relationships, as needed, with associate architectural and engineering firms and specialty consultants.