Inside a Bucolic Restaurant in Ukraine’s Emily Hotel
2022 Best of Year Winner For Hotel Dining
Despite the Russian invasion, Ukrainian designers continue to create unique and vibrant gathering spaces like the new Emily Hotel by Kyiv-based YOD Group. Located near Lviv, a city in the western part of the country that has been spared the worst of the war, the property greets guests with a soaring gesture of strength in the form of a dried sycamore tree—roots, trunk, branches, and all—suspended overhead in the five-story lobby. The spectacular installation is prelude to more nature-inspired wonders in Terra, the hotel’s 12,400-square-foot restaurant, where YOD evokes the region’s bucolic scenery, including green mountains dotted with shepherds’ fires and peaceful lakes fringed with rustling reeds. “We aimed to extract colors, textures, and impressions from the landscape to translate them into the interior,” the designers explain. “It’s like being on a tour around Western Ukraine.” Throughout, internally lit columns wrapped in custom bricks of bottle-green glass echo the rhythm and hue of nearby hills. The largest column encloses 3,500 bottles of wine on shelves accessed by a spiral staircase, while waiter stations encircle other columns sheathed in terra-cotta tile, a nod to traditional ceramic-clad stoves. One wall is covered with 2,000 copper-tinted glass shingles, each of which is swivel-mounted so diners can adjust its angle, creating new, shifting patterns—an interactive dynamic that recalls the movement of waves on the water or grasses in the wind.
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