JOI-Design renovates Reichshof Hamburg

Hilton Worldwide opened the Reichshof Hamburg hotel, adding another property to its Curio - A Collection by Hilton brand. The hotel, operated by Event Hotelgruppe, is the brand's first hotel in Europe. It combines Hanseatic Art Déco look with contemporary design features. JOI-Design was involved in the renovation of Reichshof Hamburg.

Located in Hamburg, at the market opposite the central train station, the hotel first opened in 1910 with a design inspired by the city’s maritime history and reputation as a Hanseatic mercantile center. The Art Deco façade was added in the 1920s. The Reichshof was founded by Anton Emil Langer.

For the revamp of the public areas and guestrooms, JOI-Design highlighted the hotel’s Art Deco details, including the marble columns, timber paneling and brass detailing. These details were restored. New technologies were also integrated into the design.


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The lobby of The Reichshof is the largest and longest in Hamburg, as well as having one of the tallest ceiling heights. A mezzanine level was added decades after the hotel’s initial opening. JOI-Design reconfigured the lobby by demolishing the mezzanine level.

Areas that emanate from the central lobby include the reception desks and daytime bar/bistro/café/sushi bar on one side, and Bar 1910, the “vinyl lounge” and slowman restaurant on the other side.

Relocated from the entrance to the back of the lobby, the reception desk is right across the lifts. Split into stations, there are designated podiums for check-in and out and dining reservations. There is also a new central lounge.

Located at the far corner of the lobby is a “vinyl lounge”. Designed with shades of grey and purple, it has turntables, vintage records and headphones.

The property also has chandeliers crafted with pink resin to a bespoke style by JOI-Design, while red pendant lights hung in the lounge’s wall.

Key elements in the property also include: leather sofas mixed with leather lounge chairs and organically shaped poufs, a collection of contemporary and vintage black and white photographs, artwork and adverts from Hamburg to emphasize the building’s heritage. Seating arrangements can be reconfigured for different group sizes. There are also electrical outlets to charge digital devices, as well as nesting coffee tables.

Hung above the new bar is a sepia-toned photograph of the hotel lobby as it looked in the past. Meanwhile, introduced near the entrance are counter displays of food. There are also fountains dispersed throughout the hotel and the “grab-n-go” refrigerator in the lobby.

The slowman was relocated to the Reichshof from a former site. It is backed by Michelin-starred chef turned restaurateur Christian Rach.    

The initial concept of the space was by Herr Langer, who was inspired by the SS Cap Polonio, a transatlantic cruise ship built in Hamburg. JOI-Design preserved the interiors, including original features such as the satin timber paneling and the marble, copper and gold columns. The space has new furniture and fittings.

There are also high tables and barstools located next to an enlarged buffet area. Meanwhile, the kitchen opens directly onto the buffet space. However, a corridor placed at a 90-degree angle prevents diners from viewing the preparation areas.

A reconfiguration of the layout for the marble tables provides increased seating numbers and options for different group sizes, with open-lattice screens for privacy. The restaurant’s staircase leads to a dining gallery adjacent to the conference rooms. There is also a newly added service lift.

The original timber joinery and embossed ceilings of Bar 1910, formerly called M&M Bar, were similarly renewed. It now has low ceiling, leather tub chairs and marble cocktail tables, and wall lamps and recessed soffit lights.

JOI-Design reduced the room count from 300 to 278 guestrooms, six junior suites and three one bedroom suites, all refreshed with allusions to the Art Deco era. On one side of the bed is a white cabinet, and on the other a pedestal nightstand. Above each are charging points for guests’ mobile devices. The headboard was crafted as an asymmetric composition of panels, with padded leather headrests and timber segments inset with backlit sections that emit diffused light. Affixed to the wall behind the bed are pendant lights with crystal globes. A ribbon pattern stretches across the floor’s carpet and onto the wallcovering. Other elements include: lounge chairs in neutral tones and a side table with triangular legs.

Folke Sievers is the general manager of the Reichshof Hamburg.

JOI-Design was founded in Hamburg in 1984 by Peter Joehnk and Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk. Current/recent projects include: Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère, Davos, Switzerland; JW Marriott Cannes and the AC Hotel Ambassadeur Antibes, France; Kempinski Health Resort, St. Andreasberg, Germany; O2 World Berlin VIP Lounge; Hilton Munich Airport, Germany; Hyatt Place Zurich Airport: The Circle, Switzerland; and Hilton Frankfurt Airport at THE SQUAIRE.