Amsterdam – The W Hotel is spread between two monumental buildings in the heart of the city: a bank from 1908 (one of the first concrete constructions in the Netherlands) and a telephone service building inaugurated in 1928. Both of these buildings were formerly used to ‘connect and exchange’. This historical reference influenced Baranowitz + Kronenberg (B+K) when designing the hotel’s Away Spa. ‘The rigidity of the original structure made it necessary to reinterpret and reinvent the spatial arrangements and programming of the public rooms,’ says the team. As such, some unusual features are incorporated within the spa boundaries, such as a multifunctional conference room, a burger restaurant and a boutique designer store and gallery, which intertwine as a connected leisure facility.
Located on the ground and underground levels of the former bank, the spa is hidden behind the 4-kg steel doors that formerly safeguarded the vaults. By using the building’s existing features, such as the aforementioned dominating vault doors, B+K creates a subtle homage to the building’s former use.