Essentials of comfort

This four-star hotel in Prague’s Old Town received almost immediate acclaim as a design sensation when it opened as Prague’s newest boutique hotel. Designed by Eva Jiřičná Architects, it was accepted into the elite umbrella of the Berlin-based design hotelsTM and won the American Institute of Architects’ Design Excellence award for the UK. Throughout, it is evident that design investment has been concentrated on essential elements of comfort, rather than unnecessary luxuries.

A glazed link through the central garden court connects the hotel’s Pink House and Orange House.

The black and polished metal is a tribute to Czech modernism in Jiřičná’s signature staircase. The glass brings the advantage of maximum light to the lower level.

The theme of openness and light continue in the breakfast room, furnished with Thonet chairs and tables. On the back wall, a completely natural and colorful note is provided by a collage of Asian butterflies. The restaurant also serves conference lunches.

Glass frontage and soft but abundant lighting accentuate the reception area’s clean and open concept. Metal and glass complement the mild, natural tone provided by Portuguese limestone tiles.The bar provides a rest stop and meeting place for guests, adding a sense of vibrancy to the reception area throughout the day.

A theme of simple practicality: furniture in an efficiently designed room provides guests with essentials in a comfortable setting, including various lighting to work by or relax in (the ambient lighting automatically shuts off once the guest leaves the room); sumptuous (but fully washable) fabrics prevail, even on the Baleri armchairs; bathrooms are boldly walled in glass with Portuguese limestone and design touches like Philippe Starck fittings.


from the outside
Eva Jiřičná

What motivated you in the concept for Hotel Josef and what was your intention for its final design?
I’ve traveled so much and stayed at so many hotels from America to Europe to Asia, and I hated most of them. Inevitably, I analyzed it, so with this hotel I tried to avoid the unpleasant effects – be it dark rooms, an enclosed feeling, or visual clutter everywhere – and built on those I considered pleasant, such as an open feeling, natural light, things essential for comfort. We wanted to articulate the details in a way not irritating in the context of Old Town and its architecture…to make a modern building that would blend in without screaming “I’m a new building”.

from the inside
Manfred Tobolka
general manager, Hotel Josef

In what way does Hotel Josef’s design and distinction influence your approach to its management?
At the moment there are a lot of new hotels. In this environment, it seems to me that if you know your target group, it makes it easier to promote something special – in this case the one and only member of design hotelsTM in the Czech Republic. It is of utmost importance to back this up with a very special level of service to those guests who choose Hotel Josef.






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