(New York) January 7, 2009 – GKV Architects, an award-winning New York City-based architecture and design firm, has recently designed the Park Hyatt Maçka Palace marrying historic and exotic elements to modern and luxurious, creating a technological oasis without compromising the iconic historic building and character of Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to the façade restoration, GKV Architects designed 85 spectacular guestrooms, five penthouse suites, an ultra-hip rooftop bar and a first-of-its kind for Istanbul, a steakhouse for the spare-no-expense luxury boutique hotel.
Historical elements of the hotel are combined with modern architecture, making it a unique space perpetuating Istanbul’s current culture while providing the level of style and panache that is expected of the exotic location. The Park Hyatt Maçka Palace was designed for a cosmopolitan and sophisticated traveler that expects luxury and service in a unique environment.
The lobby, which is housed in a new addition called the Petit Palace, is a shining example of minimalist, modern design and is submissive in character to the scale of the impressive Maçka Palace. Boasting a platform entrance with steps, guests are ushered into a vast and dramatically sky-lit space creating the ultimate feeling of grandeur upon arrival. The check-in desk, purposefully positioned at the back of the lobby, leads guests through the space to fully appreciate the subtle nuances of the hotel’s vibrant, yet historical design elements.
GKV Architects playfully created an airy and open walkway, naturally lit from above through a skylight, linking the historical main building, Maçka Palace, with the new Petit Palace, which houses all of the public spaces including the lobby and rooftop pool and bar.
One can move from the public area of the Petit Palace to the historic Maçka Palace, where the guest rooms are located, via an airy and sky-lit walkway that links the two buildings. Each of the opulent guest rooms are equipped with amenities including a chilled cosmetic cabinet, a state-of-the-art fully-provisioned wet bar and fridge, i-Pod plug-ins and roughly two dozen light setting choices to adjust the mood and character of the room parallel to the guests’ current mood or character. Paying homage to the Turkish rituals and traditions of bathing, rooms also feature a separate room reserved for toilet and bidet as well as additional specially designed drinking and washing vessels.
Honoring the culture one step further, GKV Architects created a one-of-a-kind bathing experience called wet rooms. These rooms, like many spaces throughout the hotel, provide the latest in technological lavishness but still respect the locale and acknowledge the societal lifestyle and heritage. The wet rooms include a choice of five different bathing experiences all in one room. There is a splash tub, a rain shower, a Turkish bath where one ladles themselves while sitting on a heated pedestal with warm water, a steam shower and a light therapy shower.
Directly above the Petit Palace is a romantic rooftop dining lounge and exceptional swimming terrace complete with exclusive private cabanas, a spectacular fire pit and candlelight. The rooftop lounge is reached by elevator at the far end of the lobby behind a two-story wall displaying a graphic interpretation of traditional Iznik tiles -- beautiful ceramics that began in Byzantine times and widely flourished under the Ottoman Turks. The rooftop lounge is encircled by bamboo trees, which provide the ultimate in privacy and a sense of oasis-like seclusion from the vibrant city streets below.
A welcome respite from standard Turkish fare, guests will not have to venture far for unique dining with the Park Hyatt’s new steakhouse - a first in Istanbul. Designed with reference to the American Steakhouse, the restaurant incorporates dark, smoky woods, bead board, ceilings and candlelit alcoves for intimacy and exclusivity. The focal point of the steakhouse is a striking Bordeaux wall constructed of individual glass wine boxes that is not only beautiful but functional, having its own state-of-the-art, individual internal cooling system. Diners’ attention will be drawn to the center of the open kitchen which features a custom-made bright red Le Corneu inspired stove. Much like fine American steakhouses, there will be mere handful of menu items executed and served to absolute perfection.
“This building combines modernity with history, two traditionally contrasting attributes that have been carefully blended to craft the ultimate guest experience,” explains Randolph Gerner, AIA, Principal of GKV Architects. “We wanted to cleverly use design and architecture to cross over the boundaries of old versus new and East meeting West.”
PARK HYATT MAÇKA PALACE DESIGN BACKGROUND
“My inspiration for this project was born out of what I personally would have wanted in a hotel in Istanbul. A bit of European opulence and the beauty conjured up by the likes of Agatha Christie and the Orient Express. It is to be a ‘home away from home’, mixed with the luxury of modern technology, combined with the soothing comfort and privacy of a high-end travel destination sprinkled with an exotically historical vibrant city life.”
• Iznik tile wall: A two-story wall displaying a graphic interpretation of the iconic ceramics that began in Byzantine times and widely flourished under the Ottoman Turks.
• Skylights: An airy and open walkway links the public spaces of the Petit Palace with the Maçka Palace, where the guest rooms are located.
Guest Room Amenities
• Chilled Cosmetic Cabinet: To keep cosmetics fresh.
• Lighting: Featuring two-dozen different settings to accommodate the mood of the traveler and set to easily recognized configurations like romantic, work, sleep, etc.
• Separate water closet: Toilets and bidets are in a separate enclosure from bathing area.
• Washing and drinking basins: Separate basins for washing and drinking water.
• i-Pod Plug ins: Multiple i-Pod plug in stations strategically positioned throughout the guest room.
Wet Room Features
• Turkish bath: Ambient-heated seat pedestals and sink basin for use in the Turkish bath.
• Splash tub: Set in the center of the wet room and also known as an English bath, the tub was designed to allow the water to overflow onto the tiled floor.
• Steam shower: A luxurious and relaxing alternative to a traditional shower. The perfect way to relax after an international flight.
• Rain shower: Featuring an over-sized showerhead, water pours down from the ceiling directly onto the bather.
• Light therapy shower: The perfect accompaniment to a relaxing bath to delight the other senses.
• Cabanas: The ultimate in exclusivity and discretion as well as a respite from the Turkish sun.
• Outdoor fire-pit: Focal point during dinner or evening cocktail parties
• Bamboo lined terrace: Bamboo trees line the perimeter of the rooftop pool and lounge, providing privacy as well as an escape from the vibrant Istanbul streets below.
• Le Corneau-inspired stove: At the center of the open kitchen is a custom-made bright red Le Corneu-inspired stove.
• Back-lit wine wall: A striking wall constructed of individual glass wine boxes that is not only beautiful but functional, having its own state-of-the-art, individual internal cooling system.
• Alcove tables: Candle-lit alcoves separated by bead board and colored glass walls create an intimate dining experience.
About GKV Architects
Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects, PC is an award-winning New York City-based architecture and design firm with a focus on quality base building and interior design solutions. Founded in 1995 by Randolph H. Gerner, AIA, Richard N. Kronick, AIA and Miguel Valcarcel, AIA, the firm has a broad portfolio of work in the residential, corporate, commercial, restoration, hospitality and institutional fields totaling more than 30 million square feet. Current projects include Kushner Companies; 111 Lawrence St., Brooklyn; Park Hyatt Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey; Equity Residential; Savanna; 2 Cooper Square; Condé Nast; A.R.T. NY/Brooklyn and NY; Maples and Calder, Cayman Islands and Tortola, BVI; City Centre Properties and 10 Chelsea.