Hotel Puerta América, Ninth Floor
The Hotel Silken Puerta América in Madrid is an innovative project that involved numerous architects and designers. Richard Gluckman designed the interior of the ninth floor.
Gluckman's idea is inspired by the “box within a box” concept, which helps to organise the approach to the different activities that can be carried out in such a small area as this. The goal is to distinguish the experience of being in a hotel from that of being at home. To this end, industrial materials such as aluminium, plastic and glass are used in quite unfamiliar ways. Gluckman's concept is surprising due to its simple organisation of space and its luminosity, in addition to the absence of any superfluous elements.
This area has an industrial appearance. The hallways look as if they belong in a factory or a recently installed office and, to reinforce this sensation, fibre cement has been used on the ceiling and walls of the lobby and hallway, while the floor is covered with wool carpeting. The only lighting in the hallway comes from the top of the doors to the rooms and the room numbers, illuminated with an LED in the floor. Grey predominates, typical of a factory-like area. The room directory is a back-lit panel with translucent glass, spanning from the floor to the ceiling and located at the entrance to the hallway. The architect plays with light and colours to guide guests to their rooms.
The room concept is different from that of the hallway. Here the aim is to achieve a simple decor but with a touch of colour. The most outstanding feature is a wall of translucent glass containing four methacrylate niches. Gluckman has differentiated the rooms by changing the colour of the niches. The half on the north side are blue, and the half facing south are yellow. The biggest box, in the middle of the room, houses the television. To the left is the telephone box, which also serves as a writing desk. To the right are two other boxes with different uses, such as for putting drinks drinks, a notebook, glasses or wallet. The bed's headboard is blue, and the wall is finished in grey fibre cement, as in the hallway. Gluckman has continued to provide an industrial touch, but here it is a little more sophisticated. As he himself has explained, he has combined rich materials, such as methacrylate, with others which he calls poor, such as fibre cement, without the result being either contradictory or artificial.
The bathroom, the first thing you see when you enter the room, is a large glass box, with a sliding door separating it from the bedroom by means of a white metal curtain. The floor and one of the walls of the bathroom are finished in Spanish granite. It is like taking a shower in the open air, under a waterfall or in the middle of a stream in the Madrid mountains. Gluckman plays with textures in his quest for colour and different sensations. There is a more urbane and technological look provided by the methacrylate, and another, more natural look, achieved with the granite. Lastly, he has chosen the Sunset chair by Christophe Pillet for Capellini, upholstered in red or blue velvet, with a comfortable, simple appearance.