Fettle designs the Schwan Locke hotel as a tribute to early German modernism
A proto-Bauhaus association that included architects Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe among its members informed this nostalgic hotel interior in Munich, designed by Fettle for the Locke apartment chain.
The design of the British studio Fettle for the Schwan Locke hotel pays homage to the early modernist principles of the Deutsche Werkbund – an association of architects, designers and craftsmen founded in Munich in 1907 and which predated the Bauhaus school, which Gropius then founded.
“The result is an interpretation of Modernist principles rather than a pastiche of this iconic style,” explained Fettle, led by Andy Goodwin and Tom Parker.
“The objective of the Werkbund was to combine mass production with traditional craftsmanship to make functional objects with little ornamentation, but also aesthetic and available to the greatest number.”
The apartment hotel, which is Locke’s first outpost in Germany, has 151 apartments as well as a lobby, café, guest lounge, bar, courtyard and gym .
For its public spaces and bedrooms, the studio chose a “colorful but relaxing” palette of muted reds, greens, yellows and blues that were popular at the time.
This upbeat palette is paired with light woods, raw plaster, chrome and steel, contrasting with a tactile mohair coating.
“We were keen to inject color into the different rooms of the building to add a sense of fun to the project,” Fettle told Dezeen.
“Our color scheme was inspired by the interiors of Mies van der Rohe’s Weissenhof Estate, built in 1927 for the Deutscher Werkbund Stuttgart exhibition, as well as posters and printed materials advertising the exhibition and similar events. “
Vibrant portraits of women involved in the Werkbund movement by local artist Veronika Grenzebach are displayed on the walls of the hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms.
Among them are Gunta Stölzl, who would later become the head of weaving at the Bauhaus, and architect and furniture designer Lily Reich, who designed the iconic Barcelona chair with van der Rohe.
In the lobby, mirrored panels are applied to the walls and paired with a boldly patterned floor. The diagram nods to details found in the 1914 Werkbund exhibition in Cologne, which featured modernist architecture designed by people like Gropius.
The ceiling is painted green and dotted with a series of partition lamps, which are reflected in the surrounding mirrors to create an effect reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms.
Just off the lobby, a cafe features raw plaster walls, a glossy green ceiling, and off-white hexagonal mosaic tiles.
Its focal point is a white marble and oak countertop with rattan infill panels, reminiscent of the functionalist approach favored by the Werkbund. The counter is surrounded by wooden chairs, marble tables, and banquettes with burnt orange upholstery.
A pantry to the left of the cafe leads to a bar and lounge, furnished with a large natural oak communal work table and a range of lounge furniture upholstered in colored leather and patterned fabrics.
A curved bar with a white marble top, ribbed wood base and chrome portico provides a focal point for the space, preceded by custom-designed bar stools with matching fluted bases.
The plinths and architraves of the bar and lounge are painted a deep red that contrasts with the simple off-white wall panels.
A pair of double doors lead from the lounge and bar to a large central courtyard, connecting the interior and exterior of the hotel.
The hotel’s guest apartments are decorated with a bold two-tone finish in either green or blue, which contrasts with the upholstery of the mohair headboard, fluted sofa, and bespoke chrome living room furniture.
All apartments have a fitted kitchen in a matching paint finish that is found in the entrance and a low shelf to display works of art and plants.
Since opening his first property in London in 2016, Locke has expanded to include locations across the UK, including a converted cotton mill in Manchester and an 18th-century Georgian terraced house in Edinburgh with interiors “Sophisticatedly tropical”.
The photograph is by Edmund Dabney, unless otherwise noted.