The brief given to JOI-Design was to redesign the guestrooms of this beautiful historic hotel with a style that emphasises the unique heritage of its location in the former Pelikan ink production factory. To this day, the brand Pelikan is known for the production of ink and artists’ paint. Designed by architect Otto Christian Taaks in 1906, the production building was revolutionary in its time because of the reinforced concrete building structure which provided large bright spaces and ideal working conditions for employees. The building is a plain H-form in red stone with two open courtyards. White pelican motifs running below the gable and plastered window surrounds provide a striking contrast to the simple red stone façade. The building was converted into a hotel by Sheraton in 1993 and has 147 guestrooms; those which are located in the former production areas have surprisingly high ceilings with large windows. JOI-Design’s interior concept celebrates the art of writing though individual elements that refer to the building’s previous life. The carpet’s design is suggestive of stylized ink splashes floating on a background of hand-sketched lines. Above the desk, three glass pendant lights from a Tom Dixon collection are formed into the shape of a glass ink bottle, while the bedroom side tables have softly serrated edges inspired by the bottle’s lid. Each room has its own unique piece of art, an illuminated glass panels set into the headboard and back painted with a handwritten quote. Famous quotes have been penned in the script of team members from both the hotel and JOI-Design and provide subtle commentary upon the value of handwritten letters in an age of emails and text messages. The high vaulted ceilings add to the “loft-like” character of the rooms and large windows allow natural sunlight to flood the space, creating an airy feel. Contrasting accents, such as the bright yellow leather desk chair, add a vibrant zip to the deep espresso base colours of the guestroom. Overall the design language brings a personal touch to the rooms, imparting guests with the feeling that they are in their own loft apartments. The result is a harmonious balance that blends industrial authenticity with contemporary style and comfort.

JOI-Design is the creative catalyst behind numerous prominent, internationally-renowned hotels, restaurants and spas around the world. The globally-minded, Hamburg-based studio teams with owners, developers and both boutique and well-known brands to design award-winning, one-of-a-kind hospitality interiors that weave each locale’s distinct spirit with the comfort and belonging valued by all cultures. Launched in 1984, in 2018 JOI-Design appointed Sabrina Voecks, Heinrich Böhm and Thomas Scholz as partners to continue the thirty-five-year legacy of founders and co-managing directors, Peter Joehnk and Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk. JOI-Design India, led by managing director Gaurav Premchandani, opened in Mumbai in 2018. 

Comprising interior, architecture, engineering, graphic and product experts, the studio creates hospitality spaces people love and return to time after time. As highly regarded thought-leaders and consultants, JOI-Design embraces client goals to realise optimal and sustainable solutions. Keen observers of the world, they understand how spaces affect people’s physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing, and therefore reflect the modern-day zeitgeist through unique designs that elevate the human experience.

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