Innovative glazed panels creating an optical illusion of the Hotel Magnolia facade

by | Nov 7, 2016 | Design

The story of the new Hotel Magnolia in Santiago, Chile, is one that catches family, politics and architecture in its wide and historical net. The recently opened hotel is housed in the former palatial mansion of the daughter of Julio Zegers Samaniego, a prominent Chilean politician at the turn of the 19th century. His home was designed by architect Eduardo Costabal Zegers, the owner’s nephew, in 1929 and, now nearly 90 years later, it has been reimagined as a 42 room luxury, boutique hotel by the original architect’s grandson, Cazú Zegers.

Located in the El Centro district of Santiago, the original building was a neo-gothic residence typical of the period, and many of these period features have been kept in its sensitive restoration. Three new floors have been added atop the existing structure and a clear delineation of old and new has been made by cladding the top three floors in innovative glazed panels which have been printed with the facade of the lower floors, creating an optical illusion of the facade being reflected and inverted in the glazing. This treatment is replicated internally in the circulation zones, which are bright and airy due to the use of glazing, and solid walls are covered with the floorboards of the old building, linking past and present in these areas.

The interior design is similarly light of touch, and designer Carolina Delpiano has harked back to olden times with black and white marble flooring tiling in a Harlequin pattern and reproductions of antique stained glass windows. The bedrooms are minimal and tranquil, again clad in calming timber, while the detailing, furnishings and fittings are crisp and elegant. The 7th floor roof bar provides views over the neighbouring Santa Lucia park.

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