Europacity is at the heart of the German capital, just a few hundred metres from Berlin’s railway station. Chancellery, Reichstag and the government quarter dominate the area, while the River Spree flows right through it. The perfect place for a hotel chain like Steigenberger, which had a first-class hotel built on Ella-Trebe-Strasse between August 2012 and May 2014. With a total floor area of around 23,000 square metres and 339 rooms, 23 of which are suites, it is one of the biggest hotels in the capital, and the first one in its category in the direct vicinity of the main railway station.
Exclusive and ecological
“The location of Berlin, proximity to the government quarter and discerning architecture made this project something very special for us,” said Dipl. Ing. Michael H. Schicker, Director Interior Design at Steigenberger Hotels AG. Because of its central location, the hotel focuses entirely on business guests, offering them its own conference centre with ten rooms on 850 square metres. The hotel also has a restaurant area with private dining and an open-cooking station. The spa and wellness area at the top of the eight-storey building offers guests an unobstructed view of the metropolis, while around 500 square metres on the ground floor are reserved for renting out to retail and gastronomy.
The hotel was planned and built to the standards of the DGNB, the German Association for Sustainable Building. The sustainable and environmentally-friendly design of the building were acknowledged with the DGNB certificate in silver. This qualification included factors such as the environmental impact of emissions, energy consumption and barrier freedom. This means, for instance, that events held at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt can be completely CO2-neutral.
Where fashion and power meet
Michael Mayer of the architectural offices of Markus-Diedenhofen in Reutlingen in Germany was responsible for the interior design. Together with a team of up to five colleagues, he accompanied the creation from the first design at the end of 2012 until completion. As a specialist in this field, the office has already designed very many major hotels, primarily premium range, all over Germany. In the case of the Hotel Am Kanzleramt, Mayer and his team deliberately played on the proximity to the Chancellery. “We adopted the Chancellors of the Federal Republic playfully as a subject, and contrasted it with the factor of fashion. After all, fashion and power are what make this city.” Shapes and materials are tailored accordingly. Naturally, a “Chancellors’ Wall” had to be included in the furnishing concept.
Combination of bathing and living
Superlative quality from service to gastronomy is something that guests naturally expect in a hotel of this calibre. And the bathroom in particular plays an increasingly important role in that. It is somewhere where guests should feel comfortable and at home, be able to relax and take time out. So in all 23 suites, the decision was made for an exceptional bath: the Bette Starlet Oval Silhouette. A clear, symmetrical form with a conical, seamlessly shaped glazed titanium steel skirt determines the look of this premium bath. As a free-standing item in the bathroom, the bath looks more like a piece of art than a bathtub.
Photos: © Steigenberger Hotels AG
And the level of comfort is equally impressive. Bathing à deux is comfortable and easy thanks to the generous shape, the angled backs at both ends and the centrally positioned outlet. A built-in version of the bath can also be found at the 5-star Hotel Am Kanzleramt. And in the wellness area, where the facilities include a private spa with its own suite, the Starlet with a whirl function is the irresistible eye-catcher.
Schicker confirms that the glazed titanium steel bath perfectly represents the company’s philosophy. “Steigenberger Hotels have a large quantity of 4-star rooms with the appropriate bathroom interiors. We have already had wonderful experiences with Bette products in other hotels. And their looks are also the perfect match for the elegant interiors.” It was the architectural offices of Markus-Diedenhofen who specifically suggested the Bette baths. For over a decade, the company has been working with Bette, the steel/enamel specialist based in Delbrück, for its bathrooms. Mayer: “The quality and design of the baths are excellent. We really enjoy working with the manufacturer, because the company goes so well with us and our idea of interior design.” And it confirms its ecological quality, which fits the context. Bette has Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) from the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. for all its products. Environmental product declarations provide the relevant data foundation for presenting a product’s environmental properties throughout its entire lifecycle.
Apart from the design and quality, though, it was primarily the material glazed titanium steel that spoke in favour of Bette baths. “Stability, durability and the hygiene properties clearly speak in favour of this material for use in hotels,” confirms Mayer. An opinion that is shared by Schicker. “It’s a highly exclusive material, and at the same time very easy to clean.” Guests at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt have been able to experience it for themselves since the beginning of May. A team of 81 is on-site to care for the well-being of its guests. The hotel was already fully booked on the day after it opened.