Soho House Berlin, an offshoot of the legendary club in London, is the only German hotel to have made it into the ‘Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2011’. The listed building in the late Bauhaus style is a house with a history. The Communist Party moved its offices there before the German wall came down. Nowadays it houses an exclusive Private Members Club as well as an extravagant 40-room hotel.
Shortly after opening in May 2010, this branch of London’s legendary ‘Soho House’ Club is the only German hotel to have a place on the 15th Annual Condé Nast Traveller Hot List, a compilation of the world’s coolest hotels.
The main thing that strikes the guest on entering the building is the stark contrast between ‘grit and glamour’. British interior designer Susie Atkinson, who interpreted this motto, explains: “Soho House was a different project, because we were mixing quite a lot of the natural fabrics of the building.” True to this statement, decorative elements include unrendered brickwork, open concrete and exposed wooden beams. Atkinson counterbalances this with a suitable dose of glamour in the form of exquisite interior furnishings. Says Atkinson: “I wanted to bring some glamour into that project, and that was very much the brief I was given.”
Important elements in this concept are the fabrics Atkinson selected, among other things, for the covers of the sofas and chairs, as well as for the curtains. By doing this, the interior designer, who loves natural, textured fabrics, has given Soho House a glamorous edge. She decided in favour of a great deal of colour, deliberately using floral prints, many of which were inspired by Dorothy Draper, an American interior designer from the 1940s and 50s.
“We took this 40s, 50s feel to Berlin”, Atkinson explains, who used English chintzes and flowery fabrics by Jean Monro to achieve this effect. “I had the fabrics recoloured, so that they were on a black ground, which gave them a slightly more contemporary feel and also worked with the practicality of a commercial space.”
In-house library in Soho House
These fabrics are to be found mainly in the rooms and the spa and fitness area. In the club, in the library and in the hotel’s own cinema, the dominant theme is a rather heavily textured velvet in warm brown, dark blue or deep red. In the Politburo, on the other hand, the room that can be hired for weddings and parties, leather is very much the theme. Atkinson comments: “We have got a lot of leather on chairs and upholstery, because that wears well and we have to think practically as well, and leather works very well in that circumstance and improves with age.”
Photos 1,2,3, 4 ,5 and 6 © Soho House Berlin