In the hands of Italian designer Antonio Citterio the W brand has created a contemporary hotel for the Old Russian capital St Petersburg that sits comfortably with the city’s heritage and its former taste for opulence
Architecture: Grigoryev and Partners
Interior Design: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Partners
When Italian design company Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Partners took on the task of designing a hotel in St Petersburg for W – a lifestyle brand with 41 hotels and retreats including 14 W-branded residences – it decided that there was no better inspiration for the hotel than what was all around.
The man behind the design concept, Antonio Citterio, spoke of being inspired by the architectural ancestry of the city and jewel tones of the famous Fabergé egg, first seen in 1885. ‘St Petersburg is a fantastic city, the dream of every architect and designer. Everything is monumental, the colours are amazing and the nature, light and panoramas are unique,’ Citterio states.
The facade of the 137-room hotel is created out of two types of stone – German Jura marble and limestone, and it sits neatly among the city’s many historic buildings, including the St Isaac Cathedral and the lavish Winter Palace.
Inside, an array of jewel tones inspired by the work of royal court favourite Fabergé are used to give the public spaces a feeling of aristocratic glamour, which sits well in a city that for centuries has been known for playing host to the social elite. Rich reds, luxurious golds and opulent greens fill the open space through plush and contemporary upholstered chairs, low, tall, semi-enclosed sofas and chaise longues, which are scattered with velvet and satin cushions, and sit among shining side tables of stainless steel.
Above the grand furniture are over-sized, jewelled pendant lights in shades of copper. Other lighting includes partly concealed strip lighting and floor lamps in beige and brown.
Focus is drawn to a seemingly floating sculpture of a school on fish, created by Italian artist Jacopo Foggini and made using melted acrylic. Here too is a modern fireplace with surrounding shelves covered with stylish trinkets, bold vases and imagination-fuelling books.
The MiXup bar is located on the eighth floor and offers impressive views of St Isaac’s Cathedral, which can be viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows. The dark wooden floor and black leather furniture complement the red walls and feature lighting, again by Jocopo Foggini, in melted acrylic. Glass panels decorated with a leaf pattern in gold are used to create smaller spaces in the room while adding some lightness to the otherwise darkly decorated room.
Guest rooms are more understated in their colour palette than the public areas, with a beige and soft gold being used, but jewel tones are nevertheless utilised, with magenta upholstered chaise longues and cushions as a standout features.
Patterned curtains and headboards, and bold lighting, which can be seen reflecting off the mirrored pelmet, create grandeur in an otherwise understated and neutral spaces.