What do the former second largest building in Europe and a hotel by Robert de Niro have in common? The design with concrete! On the facade of one building and in the interior of the other, this material plays a striking role. Exposed concrete once had a bad reputation, but today it is impossible to imagine the world without it. Its natural grey colour conveys a certain elegance and timelessness, but it can also be coloured.
- Medusa Group, Przemo Lukasik und Lukasz Zagala, Warschau
- Nobu Hotels
- Juliusz Sokołowski
The Hotel Nobu in Warsaw presents itself in a completely different way: it combines a historical building with a newly built, modern wing. The older part of the luxury hotel in Art Deco style, which is also located in the centre of Warsaw, dates back to the early 20th century. It used to house the Hotel Rialto.
The Polish architecture firm Medusa Group and the design firm Studio PCH from California designed the new extension. The hotel is the twelfth property of the Nobu brand, which was founded by Oscar winner Robert De Niro and his partners, Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and entrepreneur Meir Teper. After a three-year construction phase, the Nobu hotel chain building opened in August 2020: on a total area of 11,830 square metres, there are now 120 luxurious rooms, conference and event rooms, a fitness area and a restaurant.
The new extension presents itself from the outside as a clear modern construction with a mix mainly of glass, concrete and aluminium on the facade. Black prefabricated concrete elements divide the facade vertically. Since the building is placed at a corner, it has a V-shaped ground plan: Curved aluminium-glass constructions, each offset, were used here so that the corners are rounded. Green plants on the projections break up the concrete-glass mix. At the transition to the old building, those responsible also decided on a completely green wall for reasons of sustainability and environmental friendliness, which are of great importance here.
"The architect had the idea of black-tinted concrete elements on the facade. Therefore, all concrete elements were tinted with black dry pigments in mass, i.e. during manufacture. The manufacturer of the prefabricated elements decided to additionally paint the concrete elements with KEIM Concretal-Lasur to achieve a uniform and homogeneous colour tone," explains Wojciech Laska, KEIM branch manager in Poland.
The product KEIM Concretal-Lasur is absolutely light-resistant, UV-stable and emphasises the natural beauty of concrete.
Laska recalls: "A total of 150 litres of Concretal-Lasur and 200 litres of Concretal-Fixativ were used as thinners. The finishing touch was KEIM Lotexan, a colourless, hydrophobic finishing treatment based on silane/siloxane. The matt appearance and the semi-transparency in the result were the most important factors for those responsible to choose these KEIM products. In addition, the manufacturer has used our products for concrete cosmetics before and had good experiences with them."
Concrete is a popular building material today, especially in combination with other materials such as wood, glass and metal. The two examples from the hotel sector speak for themselves. At the same time, they make it clear how important it is to treat the surfaces of the concrete, which determine its character. KEIM Concretal-Lasur not only protects the concrete, but also offers many design options, from glazing to covering, while at the same time preserving the mineral character of the material.