The design of the AXEL Hotel Madrid superposes a series of historic references forming a complex and explosive tandem. One of the starting points is the privileged location in the very midst of Madrid’s literary neighborhood, where it is located in a palatial 19th Century building, where its noble rooms still conserve elements of great patrimonial interest.
World Architecture & Design Awards 2019
First Award | Category: Hospitality
Architects: EL EQUIPO CREATIVO
Studio: EL EQUIPO CREATIVO
Team: Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo and Lucas Echeveste Lacy
The design was influenced by Madrid’s most traditional and popular characteristics, as well as visual elements connected to the bull fight, the “mantilla” or the gypsy esthetics.
From the beginning we were interested in creating an amusing dialogue among all these starting points and historic periods so important and antagonistic in the history of Madrid and to which Atocha Street has been a privileged witness.
The objective was to create a hotel which exuded an atmosphere of liberty and diversion with a certain
disruptive touch which invited a varied clientele to enter the public areas of the hotel to enjoy the gastronomic
In order to achieve this atmosphere, the most important strategy in the design is the use of color, an element which accompanies us throughout all the areas of the hotel and which is applied with different character and material nature in each zone.
Posters, brightly lit with cinematographic and musical references, together with mannequins and other flashy elements invade the entrance way to the hotel and its reception area, welcoming the guest to a carefree and festive atmosphere.
Located on the first floor were the original noble rooms of immense patrimonial value and containing a great variety of finishes and colors. The common denominator which exists in all of them is the golden decorative detail on the walls, ceilings and handicrafts. The new distribution has converted some of these rooms to public lounges and others to suites, emphasizing in both cases the common denominator, gold, which will be the color of all the new pieces of furniture in these spaces.
The design mixes visual references to the esthetic of the bull fight and the “mantilla” with a sexy touch. Two large curtains are the outstanding decorative elements, one fuscia, the color of the bullfighter’s cape, and the other of a translucent black texture like a “mantilla”. Together they surround the bed and allow the room to be transformed according to the time of day or, why not, the mood. A neon light with clear or suggestive messages regarding popular culture completes this playful setting.
THE RESTAURANT AND THE CLUB: Las Chicas, Los Chicos y los Maniquis (The Girls, The Boys and the Mannequins) and Bala Perdida Club
In the lower part of the hotel, the restaurant has three small interconnected dining rooms where, once again, color is the indisputable principal element. Each room achieves its own personality by use of a single color: red, greenish and pink.
Hidden in the underground of the AXEL Hotel, we find two vaulted spaces built in brick. It is in this provocative and secret location, where the Bala Perdida Club is located.
We had two main design premises. On the one hand the singularity of the existing space, with two
subterranean dark vaults built in brick, as antique caves or cellars. On the other hand, the proposed venue, a
night club that should have the versatility to work as a snack and cocktail bar, where a fast mutation would
happen at some point of the night and the general scenery would quickly switch from a warm atmosphere
into a lysergic dance floor.
This need of transformation and that kind of clandestine atmosphere made us think of a space with a close relation to mystery where we could not omit the magic and the optical illusions.