A place full of history, a zone of transit for famous travelers: in 1789, for example, the very young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart slept here. We’re talking about the Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz in Innsbruck, located inside a solemn palace dating back to about 1460, which has been transformed many times over the centuries. In its architecture, individual periods of time intersect to generate a symbiotic urban morphology. This architectural gem has been renovated in a project by the studio noa*: a real challenge of conservation of heritage. The project also includes the addition of one level, at the top, for 48 new guestrooms and suites.
The building, in the city center, stands out for its portico, perfectly inserted in the historical fabric, with a narrow form that develops lengthwise inside. Upon entry, guests walk down a long corridor leading to the elevators, interrupted by reflecting dividers. “They have a dual function: guests can see themselves, while the reflecting surfaces of the walls and ceilings dissolve the boundaries of the room, and the architecture becomes immaterial. For visitors, the entrance thus becomes a sort of gateway to a new temporal dimension,” say the architects of noa*. The elevator leads directly to the reception area on the very new sixth floor: here the gaze is captured by a 13-meter table made to measure in brass with Baroque ornaments, which stands out on the smoked oak floor, wrapped by warm walls in blue tones.
A corner that becomes the fulcrum of all activities: from welcoming guests to breakfast and bar service, creating an evocative evening venue that is also open to the public. In the attic, also with dominant tones of blue, various lounge areas with eccentric armchairs and Gatsby-style lighting create a harmonious mixture, enlivened by accents of pale pink and ochre yellow that go nicely with the brass. This is where the guiding motto of the project, “Chic Shock Baroque,” is at its best: everything, down to the technical details, has been carefully coordinated in chromatic harmony, accompanied by bow windows for a breathtaking view of the surrounding panorama. Uniqueness is everywhere in this original hotel.
As on the first floor, expanded with six new lodgings, where all the rooms have terraces with glass shelters, to provide ample outdoor spaces; the high point is reached in the room with a 'super-patio,' organized in jungle style. The second floor, on the other hand, contains the Mozart Suite, where the great composer once stayed: “It is enlivened by an outburst of red and gold, with pompous features. As a tribute to the playful side of Mozart, the room is enhanced by a billiards table, a true attraction inside the space,” the designers explain.
The floors for the new guestrooms and suites have Gothic ceilings, arches and spaces of different heights: an irregular structure restored to harmony by the intervention of studio noa*. The rooms look towards the historical center of Innsbruck, or onto the internal courtyard: the latter units have a patio or balcony for private relaxation. Natural light is convened to the rooms in the central part, without windows, thanks to a light well inserted by the architects from the first to the sixth floor, featuring small private terraces with plants. The interior design of the guestrooms complies with a chromatic code to identify the room types: for example, the dark blue rooms have a balcony, the green rooms have a terrace on the lightwell, while the gray rooms are double.
These shadings are replicated in the surfaces of the walls and floors, the furnishings and the drapes. The Baroque style is also referenced in the details: the leg of a washstand, a chest of drawers, or period photographs to complete the settings, showing sumptuously attired ladies to link back to the theme of Chic Shock Baroque. There are plenty of curiosities and theatrical surprises in this hotel, including a room on the third floor that has been left unfinished, known as the ‘broom closet,’ where the walls left without plaster make room for a racket autographed by a famous Wimbledon champion. This space has an indefinite style, and it is unique. It emanates such charm that for visitors to this facility, it becomes one of the attractions to be seen at all costs.
Progetto di noa* network of architecture - Foto di Alex Filz