The objective was to create a hotel where one could breathe a free and fun atmosphere with a disruptive touch, which would invite different types of the public to enjoy the public areas of the hotel.
The design of the AXEL Hotel on Atocha Street in Madrid superposes a series of historic references forming a complex and explosive tandem. One of the starting points is the privileged location of the AXEL Hotel in the very midst of Madrid’s literary neighborhood, today the epicenter of the city’s most cosmopolitan environment.
Another starting point is the palatial 19th-century building in which the hotel is located, where its noble rooms still conserve elements of great patrimonial interest, lavishly decorated ceilings, intense colours on the walls and baroque decorative details. An important role in the design choices was also played by some of Madrid’s most traditional and popular characteristics as well as some of the most well-known visual elements such as those related to the bullfight, the “mantilla” or the gypsy esthetic in general.
And finally, closing this strange tandem is the explosive philosophy behind the AXEL Hotel chain, whose hotels are designed for the LGBTQ community creating free spaces where sexual diversity is welcome and promoted and where diversion is a priority.
From the beginning, the design team was interested in creating an amusing dialogue among all these starting points and historic periods so important and antagonistic in the history of Madrid and to which Atocha Street has been a privileged witness.
The principal objective was to create a hotel which exuded an atmosphere of liberty and diversion with a certain disruptive touch which invited a varied clientele to enter the public areas of the hotel to enjoy the gastronomic offer.
In order to achieve this atmosphere, the most important strategy in the design is the use of colour, an element which accompanies us throughout all the areas of the hotel and which is applied with a different character and material nature in each zone.
Photographer: Adrià Goula