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MKV Design to refurbish Prague’s Alcron Hotel

Design team transforms historical building in to a contemporary space.

London-based MKV Design is set to refurbish the Radisson SAS Alcron Hotel in Prague. Over the next few months, work on all 206 guestrooms and suites will be completed next year, to be followed by MKV's refurbishment of the public areas.

For Maria Vafiadis, managing director of MKV Design, the project has been a return to a very special building. Ten years ago, then as a principal at GA Design, she led the design team that enabled the renaissance of the hotel for Radisson SAS.

"Originally, coming in from the outside to redesign a national treasure was somewhat formidable," said Maria Vafiadis, managing director of MKV Design. "The Alcron was opened in 1932, and soon gained a reputation as the premier hotel in Prague, famous for its glamorous live jazz events, lavish ballroom and its many exquisite Art Deco features. We were conscious of the potential for criticism, so we were quite strict about taking our cues from the building and producing designs that were correct for the period."

The design team has aimed to achieve refreshed guestrooms that are less constrained by historical reference. Art Deco lamps have given way to over-sized, custom-made thread shades suspended from the ceiling on each side of the bed, dark velvet upholstery has been replaced by ivory toned silks and, heavy patterned curtains by plain sheers and drapes.

While the size of the rooms has not changed, the experience of them has been opened up with the introduction of floor to ceiling mirrored panels behind the bed heads, Zebrano bedside cubes with back lit sandblasted glass tops, with most furniture being sourced locally, from Czech and Austrian suppliers.

"This is the first significant refurbishment at the Radisson SAS Alcron since our original project a decade ago," says Maria Vafiadis. "This time round we had the advantage of knowing the building from the outset; the challenge was to move on our designs meaningfully and with originality without undoing what had been achieved before."

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