The 5-star superior hotel The Fontenay opened in the Hamburg suburb of Rotherbaum, rights on the shores of Lake Alster, in March 2018. The architects’ main challenge was to find the perfect architecture for the luxury hotel. And they succeeded: both architecturally and scenically, the hotel positively blends with its direct surroundings. The rounded, sculptural architecture is made up of three circles that blend into and with each other, forming two courtyards in the middle. The external look of the façade is determined by convex and concave shapes. Hamburg-born architect Jan Störmer was responsible for the organic architecture, the circles of which are reminiscent of tree crowns. He took his inspiration for this unique building from the park landscape and the waterline of Lake Alster, and deliberately incorporated the proximity to the water in his architecture.
Another special feature of the building: as it is situated in a park and surrounded on all sides by landscape, there is no defined front or back. The hotel is flooded by light on all sides, and thanks to the 14,000 m² of glass surfaces the boundaries between interior and exterior, between nature and architecture, merge together.
The circular design language of the architecture runs throughout the interior of the seven-storey building like a thread: not one of the walls in the hotel is parallel to another. On the inside, the three intertwining circles create a 27-metre-high glass atrium that acts as the lobby. The glass façade is made up of almost 200 iridescent, scaled frosted panes. On the ground floor, guests can dine in the glass-fronted garden restaurant “Parkview” with views of the Alster, and on the 6th and 7th floors – above the rooftops of the Hanseatic city – are the Fontenay Bar and the gourmet restaurant “Lakeside”, with the 1000 m² spa on the other side.
The architectural practice of Aukett + Heese was tasked with the FF+E, and therefore responsible for the interior design of the Fontenay. There is a total of 130 guest rooms for guests to choose from, including 17 suites in eight different luxury categories. The trapezoid layout of the rooms, which start at 43 square metres in size, also echoes the circular architecture, as they are arranged together like the slices of a cake. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the rooms and suites with light and offer spectacular views of the Alster.
The interior design radiates elegance and individuality. Shades of beige and sand dominate the colour concept of the rooms, with turquoise and blues accents on the beds, sofas and chairs as fascinating eye-catchers. The light oak that graces the elegant parquet floor painstakingly laid in hexagons is the perfect match. The materials used for the furniture alternate between leather, wood and selected fabrics. In order to enhance the excellent quality of the hotel, the furniture for each room was selected and made by hand individually. Many items were made specifically for The Fontenay, and all of the furnishing and decorative items are one-offs.
The hotel bathroom as a figurehead for the hotel
The bathrooms are also a significant part of the interior design concept, both from the point of view of the interior designers and of the guests, who quite rightly expect only the best in the bathroom in particular. The quality of the time spent in a hotel bathroom is one of the key factors in determining how a guest rates a stay at a hotel afterwards. Guest bathrooms in the premium and luxury range should therefore be of the best quality with modern interiors and superior comfort so the traveller knows that he will be especially appreciated here, and will be able to recover and relax at the very highest level.
This is why the architectural practice of Aukett + Heese chose two bath models in glazed titanium steel made by the bathroom specialist Bette of Delbrück for the hotel’s natural stone bathrooms, the built-in bath BetteStarlet Flair Oval and the free-standing BetteStarlet Oval Silhouette.
“The baths in the BetteStarlet collection gave us the choice between free-standing, undermount or built-in options. This gave us the desired flexibility and freedom during the design process,” explains Christian Meinert, director of the project at Aukett + Heese.
Bath embedded in natural stone
The BetteStarlet Flair Oval was fitted under the natural stone so as not to disturb the consistent use of this stone in the bathrooms. The bath and washbasin area, floor and walls are made entirely of this elegant stone. Every single natural stone slab was individually planned and cut to size.
“The glazed titanium steel of the baths is the perfect companion for the natural stone. The high-quality material more than meets the high requirements of a luxury hotel because it is resilient, heat-conducting, easy-care, exclusive and permanently brilliant. This enabled us to continue the sophisticated features of the rooms and the interior design of the entire hotel into the bathrooms,” adds Meinert.
In addition to the built-in version, the BetteStarlet Oval Silhouette was also used in many of the rooms and in all 17 suites. In the free-standing bath, the interior designers chose an iconic classic in the Bette range. The typical characteristics are its clear, symmetrical form with the conical, seamlessly joined skirt in glazed titanium steel. “BetteStarlet radiates all the design confidence of a classic, and yet reins itself in pleasantly for the sake of the room architecture,” is the interior designer’s description of the bath.
Thanks to its harmonious design, the BetteStarlet Oval Silhouette appears timeless, radiates elegance, and so provides superior comfort in these luxurious bathrooms. Its generous shape, the two slants at the ends and the practical centrally positioned outlet are perfect for bathing à deux. Hotel guests will also appreciate the benefits of the wide surrounding rim, which can be used to hold shampoo and bath accessories and as a comfortable support for the lower arms when enjoying a relaxing bath.
“Our wide range of high quality glazed titanium steel develops its full strength in hotels like The Fontenay. In addition to all the usual standard dimensions and shapes, special designs provide greater design freedom when planning, and even made-to-measure is possible. The surface of this robust and impervious material – which Bette guarantees for 30 years – is permanently lovely, seamless and germ-free. It is easy to clean, which helps to save money and time when cleaning,” says Sven Rensinghoff, marketing director at Bette.
Photos: © The Fontenay Hamburg / Jochen Stueber