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JOI-Design’s brief for the interiors of the Dolce Munich Unterschleissheim was to convey a strong regional identity while reflecting the flag’s redefined brand standards. The company’s response was to create a modern conference hotel that weaves a contemporary tale of Bavarian culture with Dolce’s corporate commitment to “nourishment”, “connectivity” and “community”.
Emblematic references to the region punctuate the design. In the lobby these are playful: a life-sized sculpture of a cow greets guests and “guards” the stairs leading to the conference mezzanine, while hammered copper cowbells hung as artwork above the reception desks add a light-hearted note. Bridging the reception and conference areas, high-sided sofas envelop guests and offer a degree of privacy during breakout sessions.
In Stephan’s Bar, the décor contrasts raw with refined textures in a palette derived from Bavaria’s natural environment. Emphasising the hotel’s location in a green enclave between the city and the airport, guests are invited to gather around the fire, as if in a mountain lodge tucked into the forest. Various diameters of timber logs are assembled like a puzzle within bronze panels, and tumbled stones form an elegant fireplace housing. Cowhide upholstery with irregular markings is strikingly juxtaposed with the minimalist shape of steel-framed chairs, resulting in a rustic yet well-groomed setting. Reminiscent of a Bavarian rathskeller, a communal table hewn from oak spans the bar, with modern white lacquered stools interposed between their timber neighbours.
In the restaurant “redox”, the name of which refers to the natural chemical process in antioxidant foods, JOI-Design celebrates the region’s culinary inheritance. The contemporary focal point, a backlit “wine wall”, showcases the antioxidant-rich varietals vinified in the area. Roughly textured antler chandeliers provide a counterpoint to smooth white tablecloths and richly stained oak; together they evoke the spirit of a fine German dining hall. The horizontal orientation of the unstained oak panels behind the banquettes relaxes the room’s mood helping diners to unwind from their conference while the strategic placement of “eco-friendly” LEDs enable adjustable lighting levels.
In the guestrooms and suites, an earth-toned palette and smoked oak timber are a canvas for quirky design accents. Colourful scenes of Munich’s historic architecture hang on the wall and cut-outs in the rug’s design allude to the embroidery on a traditional Bavarian pinafore. A window between many of the bedrooms and bathrooms allows daylight to filter into the bath area. JOI-Design’s interpretation of the location’s unique heritage makes for a relaxed guest experience where Dolce’s brand values of “nourishment”, “connectivity” and “community” can naturally occur.
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