Gatsby Athens Hotel, Award-Winning Architecture with Renowned Interior Design
Gatsby Athens Hotel brings a new lease of life and avant-garde design to a previous derelict building in the historical centre of Athens. Generating a renewed energy to the Greek capital, the 33-room contemporary boutique hotel balances sophisticated design and personalised, attentive service with exciting food, beverage and entertainment offerings reflecting the best of its location’s cultural and social milieu.
With interiors designed by acclaimed London and New York based design firm Michaelis Boyd, the hotel’s public spaces feature unique entertaining and social spaces to suit every mood – and offer an array of dining possibilities. The architectural design was led by award-winning Greek architectural firm WOA, which has transformed the crumbling 1930’s building and police station into an elegant and eco-friendly hotel rooted in the emotional connection between people and buildings. Costas Gagos Architecture and Design Studio has also recently completed the basement to curate an allusion of hidden rooms and secret passageways.
Opened in Autumn 2021, Gatsby Athens has become Athens’ premium gathering place, the all-day restaurant is the main social hub of the hotel, and the rooftop garden offers a casual-cool vibe, welcoming hotel residents and guests to dine with stunning panoramic views and a glimpse of the Acropolis.
WOA’s architectural vision balances between the typical Greek modern architectural typology, the contemporary vision of sustainable buildings, creating a meaningful experience for guests. The art deco building has been abandoned for the past four decades, so it was important to convey a sense of timelessness rather than a decade-defining aesthetic. The setting evokes the glamour of mid-1930 Athens, creating a fine balance between old and new. Simple and clean lines have been honoured throughout the design, whilst preserving as much of the original structure as possible but bringing an eco-twist with a natural green façade to the building. To honour its past and future, design intricacies have been employed that complement the building’s heritage and surroundings – materials have been reused and the majority of the construction of the hotel was handmade or custom made by local craftsmen.
Here, every aspect of an urban hotel has been re-imagined for the needs and desires of a new generation, and every thought given to enhancing a guest’s stay, for the best possible Athenian experience.
Gatsby Athens Hotel architecture vision balances between the typical Greek modern architectural typology, the contemporary vision of sustainable buildings and the new luxury concept of creating a meaningful experience. Simple, elegant and eco-friendly architecture rooted in the emotional connection between people and buildings with a fundamental urge of creating something truly unique”, comments Aris Giannopoulos, Architect Engineer for WOA.
Inspiration Behind The Interior Design
Michaelis Boyd has made their name by creating spaces that are emotive, meaningful and thoughtful, taking inspiration from nature and considering light, form and flow.
At the heart of every space is authenticity and the design team have been careful to maintain original elements of the interior architecture whilst bringing the interiors up to date. The result is a contemporary scheme that draws on art deco influences in keeping with the Gatsby legacy. Period details such as the existing white marble staircase were preserved, and materials such as warm woods and veined marbles introduced, chosen for their timeless quality and to patinate over time. Inspired by the natural environment and the local culture and craftspeople, tactility is a key part of the design process. Layered textures are combined with contemporary furniture, touches of reeded glass and gold details for a luxurious finish that compliments traditional Greek design elements, such as the red and green marble, and locally sourced terrazzo.
We are really excited to be working with the Gatsby Athens, as it is our first boutique hotel project in Greece. At Michaelis Boyd, we believe that interior design doesn’t have to conform to a rigid set of rules – we like to challenge the norm and gently encourage our clients to explore playful and intriguing elements. The Gatsby Athens was a perfect fit, as we were able to explore lots of creative options – a subtle mix of old and new, we’ve worked to reinstate the building’s authenticity but also bring it up to date. The resulting interiors reflect the urban, subversive and underground neighbourhood vibe but remain luxurious, exclusive and elegant, to emulate the hotel’s refined yet playful character.” – Alex Michaelis, partner at Michaelis Boyd.
The creation of the Gatsby Athens Hotel brought back to life a dilapidated Athenian building which was an eyesore and destined to be demolished. Reusing buildings and avoiding the CO2 emissions from construction is the most sustainable way to build. In addition, the building has been optimized for energy efficiency with the use of new technology and with the addition of high quality thermo-proofing throughout the structural elements of the building. There has also been an addition of a beautiful natural green façade to the exterior of the building.
Gatsby Athens Hotel is a contemporary boutique hotel with 33 luxurious rooms. All rooms provide state of the art technology, smart TVs or tablets, Alexa devices, king size beds, walk-in showers, in-room bathtubs, luxury natural linen and bathrobes, Ortigia amenities, impressive artwork and even a ‘surprise’ button for those who dare to press. All the furniture is bespoke, including most of the lighting fixtures which were designed by the Michaelis Boyd team and locally produced. Upgraded rooms come with Juliet balconies or terraces with private outdoor sitting areas, an outdoor cinema and jacuzzi hot tubs.
By understanding that a hotel is more than just a place to sleep—it’s a hub, a meeting place, a centre culture, a site for relaxation, reflation, and hard-earned leisure time, and place for life and play— there is Gatsby Party Suite, for the more socially inclined who like late night revelry.
Michaelis Boyd designed the impressive bar as a sculptural statement, with an arched back bar shelving, brass and glass detailing and a marble top bar that is gently scalloped and surrounded by velvet and leather stools. On the rooftop lies a secret garden, set on the 6th floor, including an open-air cinema, a roof garden, a seasonal bar and a small viewing platform with great urban views and a glimpse of the Acropolis.
The basement has been newly refurbished and cleverly reconfigured by Costas Gagos Architecture and Design Studio to create a four zone multi-functional space. The renowned and talented team are constantly pushing limits with their designs, winning the coveted ‘Designer of the Year’ award multiple times. There is a discreet 24-hour detox GYM with the latest fitness equipment and a serene cave inspired massage room awaits for guests to escape and indulge in a luxurious treatment next door.
Similarly, an exclusive and cozy lounge area is canopied by a beautiful bespoke scalloped ceiling, with a sumptuous velvet couch and comfy armchairs providing the perfect space to relax. The intrigue continues with a secret door that leads the way to a speakeasy jazz bar. This basement is made to be discovered, not ignored!
Architecture and Local Surroundings
Gatsby Athens Hotel dates back to the war with many details referencing the Art Deco movement, which inspired the name. The architectural and interiors inject elegance into a derelict building, reinstating its place as an elegant landmark of the Athenian city centre, whilst connecting the hotel to the vibrant nightlife scene surrounding it. Located inside the boundaries of the Old Historic & Commercial Center of downtown Athens, it is a great example of Greek modernist architecture of the era. The Gatsby Athens is located in the heart of the historic centre and is surrounded by buzzing bars and coffee shops so it was important for the hotel to become a central part of the neighbourhood’s thriving nightlife. The adjacent alleyway has become a real feature of the hotel and a social hub for tourists and locals to meet, hang out and enjoy the neighbourhood. Covered by a metal structure with growing greenery, it links the hotel with the café opposite and also connects guests to the speakeasy 1930s style secret restaurant in the basement of the hotel.
Gatsby Athens (https://gatsbyathens.com/