The new Barceló Raval hotel wants to hide a big party behind a quiet icon. It is not in competition with the history of the place where it has been building neither with the existing facades. But the hotel wants to take part of that atmosphere and that story. So the stainless steel metal mesh that surrounds the hotel gives it a contemporary and mysterious air and at the same time hides an atmosphere that blow up in the interior. The hotel goes on with the chosen recipe for the future combining leisure, business, evasion and game. The building with elliptical floor designed by CMV Architects summarizes a new proposal for the neighbourhood: expressive contention for a future away from the old brothels. However, the new hotel exudes a cosmopolitan atmosphere that revives the old port district.
Now the anonymity of the contemporary is combined with the views from the roof and the coldness of the facade in which the mesh acts as a curtain. The same facade provides to the building a reservation, strong and austere at the same time. The mesh collects, hides and protects. Formally it confers an uniformity to outside that is only broken by the marquee and a carpet painted on asphalt indicating access. With opacity of 40%, the mesh also ensures the privacy of clients and works as a solar filter.
At the interior, the ground floor can assume multiple roles and changes to make it. It contains a B-Lounge that "is conceived as a bar, restaurant and breakfast area." Like the other floors of the building, this is also arranged between two concentric ovals: the biggest is the exterior façade of the hotel and the smallest encloses the courtyard of lifts and the stairs. The elliptical volume of the centre has the external walls; the ones to the interior of the hotel are soft. They are coated with leather padded and polyester tiles. In these soft walls have been excavated counters, space for the buffet breakfast, the hole for elevators and even a tufted sofa to accommodate customers waiting in the reception. The effect is the one of a space-furniture or a sculptural piece to use.
Another bench-sofa follows the line of the oval perimeter of the facade under a roof of pendants cylinders of white foam with highly acoustic absorption. The interior padding fulfils the same function besides giving a soft air to the local. The pavement of the access floor is ceramic finished in silver with triangular grid which acts reflecting the illumination of the LEDs on the ceiling. In the façade facing the street there is a small window described by the interior designer as a peep-hole. It allows see without being seen and reminds, you may have guessed, the voyeuristic atmosphere of this old district of Barcelona.
In the remaining 10 floors, guest's rooms are arranged in a fan and organized around a corridor that surrounds the centre concrete wall, painted black here. The ceiling and floor underline contrasts between black and white decorated with prints of sinuous and abstract shapes. That pattern is the only ornamentation. The fixtures, flush, physically disappear and become visible only through the colour vinyl that tint its light. The numbering graphic also appears but is not here. It is solved with LEDs. Rear-view mirrors extend the reflections and references of the corridors.
In room call attention a sculpture in acrylic and mineral resin, containing shower, sink, a small office and minibar. This white element is the most versatile of the room and maybe the most sober. The patterns wallpaper with floral motives in pink and black wrap ceilings and walls and, only in the bathroom, paved with tiles in steel tone and walls with white tile, we recover the visual peace. Technology is another innovation of the stays. The head of the bed contains LEDs for nocturnal readings. Customers have turntables and motorized curtains that act as backdrops on the windows.
The two oval shapes reappear in the rooftop of the hotel as perimeter walk. There, four panoramic viewers mark the 4 cardinal points. The south is filled with a sun terrace and a small swimming pool. Views are the rest.