Thanks to a competition for Accor Hotels, twin sisters Irina and Olga of Moscow’s Sundukovy Sisters, the studio they founded in 2004, were able to show off their diverse skillset for two Pullman properties in Europe. The first, the charming Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château MGallery by Sofitel, draws inspiration from the historic palace’s lush gardens translated through a contemporary elegance in public spaces and guestrooms. For their second venture, however, the duo transformed the public spaces, including 18 meeting rooms, at the 311-key Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof into an eclectic fantasyland that mixes the nearby Berlin Zoo with the Bauhaus movement to complement its business-meets-leisure vibe without changing the bones of the building.
Geometric elements and whimsical objects d’art that reference zoo animals, such as fish that “swim around the lobby columns, footprints of animals, and the fitted carpet with zebra stripes print,” explains Irina, captures the spirit of travelers who view the world as “their playground and every moment is an opportunity,” adds Olga. Black and white stripes and polka dots dress flooring, columns, and banquettes and nod to an oversized zebra, who guides guests to the Blend bar, a contemporary space with bold pops of blue, orange, and emerald green.
It’s an LED curtain along the ceiling that’s perhaps the most striking element, however. A series of rod-like pendants are programmed to illuminate in different shapes offering “unique designed drawings, which repeat the hotel’s style,” says Irina, while the use of leather, copper, marble, and oynx add warmth. “We have erased the borders between the interior and the outside,” notes Olga, “making the hotel friendly both for the guests and for passersby.”