The NEW Hotel in Athens, Greece

Thursday, February 7, 2013

If you haven't already read about the NEW Hotel in Athens on Yatzer, then here's your update. It is part of the Yes! Hotels chain, owned by the very affluent art patron Dakis Joannou. The chain also includes Semiramis Hotel in Kiffisia, Athens which was designed by Karim Rashid.

Offering an entirely NEW approach to young interior design, energetic hospitality, and seductive customer-centered services, NEW Hotel is the first ever hotel project of award winning designer duo, Fernando and Humberto Campana. YES! Hotels owner Dakis Joannou commissioned the Brazilian brothers for their eco-sensitive ethos and the use of contemporary handicraft practices and local idioms. Drawn to their specific language, which in turn draws from urban street life, contemporary art and the São Paulo favela culture, Joannou gave them absolute freedom to dream. The result is an intriguing 79-room establishment, where every public space and every floor has been creatively re-NEW-ed to include remnants of the former Olympic Palace Hotel. The interiors are simply outstanding, the unusual custom-made furniture and handmade fixtures making guests feel that they live and breathe in a major art installation. 

I particularly love that they have incorporated local folklore and traditions and modernized them. The rooms are divided into three categories, the 79 rooms explore three prevalent themes: the Greek shadow theater known as 'Karagiozis', the local obsession with 'vaskania' - the evil eye - and the typical blue and white beads used to protect potential victims from bad luck, and 'Old Athens' nostalgia, illustrated with typical old-school postcards. Pair that with a smattering of furniture sourced from local collectors or workshopped on the spot with the precious assistance of twenty undergrad students from the University of Thessaly - and a whole lot of upcycled wooden furniture scraps - and you’re got yourself some real collaborative magic.

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