Intourist Hotel Baku
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is the fastestgrowing city in Eastern Europe. Two Autograph Collectoin hotels under the Marriott brand has been opened recently in the city, which clearly shows its ambition of becoming a worldclass metropolis.
The Beginning of the Experience
The ground floor spaces have been carefully planned to provide a series of different opportunities for guests to relax, work, socialise and dine, all within a relatively small footprint. The spaces flow naturally from the entrance lobby, leading guests into the next area with intriguing glimpses and carefully composed views. Three elegant reception desks finished in silver metallic high gloss lacquer sit in front of decorative timber screens styled by MKV to suggest a mid20th Century design. These screens, coupled with full height sheers, recur through the ground floor and together with a magnificent cascade of ceiling pendants that swirls through the public areas like an unfurling sail, hold the spaces together and lead the guest on through each experience.
Streamlined but Vary
Guestrooms are modern and streamlined. Hidden lighting washes the room in soft light; a feature wall with crystal embossed wallpaper adds a further touch of glamour. All the suites overlook the Caspian Sea and benefit from particularly generous wet rooms clad in Arabescato marble.
The corridor leading to the lounge is given additional purpose by doubling as a library with booklined glass shelves allowing light through into the cosy reading room on each side. Here, elegant curved sofas echo the fretwork patina of the screens while the design of the rug picks up on the geometry of much of the detailing.
Inheriting from the Past
The antiqued brass of the bar glimmers under shafts of lighting slicing through dark walnut timber and white lacquer boxes suspended from the ceiling in a crafted design by MKV which “cuts through” the marble wall from the lounge, serving to obscure the A/C at the same time. The hint of a seagoing raft is apparent in these boxes, an idea picked up in a printed canvas, set into a portholeshaped frame over the bar, which depicts an ancient ship as might once have set sail from the seafaring nation of Azerbaijan. The timber flooring is composed of hexagonal panels in M.C. Escher fashion and a striking zigzag table traverses the bar space.
The restaurant is the final space in the sequence of public areas a long room with several structural columns. MKV has overcome the potential hardness of the space by cladding the columns with mirror and decorating them with sheers and fretwork screens, several of which can slide together to close off part of the restaurant and create an intimate evening destination.