Vintage radio and Spanish surrealism inspire design of Hyatt Centric Madrid hotel
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Vintage radio and Spanish surrealism inspire design of Hyatt Centric Madrid hotel

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I believe a hotel should be more than a place to work, sleep and eat. Conceived and designed thoughtfully it can become a meaningful contributor to social and cultural life of any location on the planet

Self-proclaimed “designer of whimsy” Henry Chebaane has completed the guest rooms and public areas of the new Hyatt Centric Gran Via hotel in Madrid, taking inspiration from Spanish surrealism and the history of radio.

Tasked with converting the partially-listed spaces behind the historic facade of a 1920s-era building on the upscale Gran Via shopping street, Chebaane and his studio – Blue Sky Hospitality – looked to the cultural life of the neighbourhood. There was a particular focus on its tradition of theatre, cinema and, most significantly, its history as the birthplace of Spanish radio broadcasting (the street was the birthplace of the first national station, Cadena SER).

Entering the hotel lobby via a small doorway, guests are transported into a multi-stage set evoking the universe of a vintage radio.

Called ‘ONDAS’ (Waves/Vibes), this playful environment functions as an interactive social space “where guests can be actors and spectators.” Juxtaposing eras are showcased and celebrated with a 1950s style media studio, Pop Art sculptures and an Art Deco selfie booth. Comfortable furnishings from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries are united by a common colour palette of walnut, red, black, white and aged brass.

The hotel’s bar, meanwhile, is formed of three individual ‘radio pods’ of brass and walnut with a giant antenna stretching across the ceiling.

“The design concept blends styles dating from the building’s inception almost 100 years ago up to today, like successive waves of a broadcast," said Blue Sky Hospitality.

"As a consequence, it looks and feels like it could have always existed on this site, slowly evolving with the times, yet the vibe is unmistakably today’s – with props, live DJ sets and a vermouth library."

"I believe a hotel should be more than a place to work, sleep and eat," Chebaane told . "Conceived and designed thoughtfully it can become a meaningful contributor to the social and cultural life of any location on the planet. Hyatt Centric is a dynamic lifestyle brand that understands the concept of being an urban launchpad for cultural explorers of a destination very well."

Chebaane also designed the hotel’s 159 guest rooms, which “place the guest as a modern explorer in the location.”

Other amenities include a restaurant and a 24-hour fitness centre.

The hotel is the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Spain and is situated close to El Retiro Park, the Prado museum and the Royal Palace.

Blue Sky Hospitality’s previous projects include a Brit-Pop reimagining of The Megaro hotel in London; an Indian restaurant themed around the botanists of the Victorian era and their explorations in the jungles of India; an Azerbaijani steakhouse inspired by the myths and legends of fire; and a mind-bending blend of bar, bistro, brewery and pickling lab in Baku that can "both create and cure hangovers".

Chebaane has also joined forces with pop artist Sean Danconia to create a hospitality brand called SupaPop Space, providing a platform for the duo to create, produce, develop and license characters and art into experiential concepts, hospitality spaces and retail products.

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Self-proclaimed “designer of whimsy” Henry Chebaane has completed the guest rooms and public areas of the new Hyatt Centric Gran Via hotel in Madrid, taking inspiration from Spanish surrealism and the history of radio.
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