April 1, 2011

Into the Groove: Karim Rashid’s Nhou Berlin Hotel

With three opera houses, an equal number of major concert halls, and countless underground techno clubs, Berlin has long been a destination for music lovers and music makers alike. Now they have a place to rest their heads. Interior Design Hall of Fame member Karim Rashid‘s Nhow Berlin hotel caters to a rocker’s every whim. There are two recording studios on-site, and a grand piano, a guitar, or a drum set can be provided at any time.

Occupying a riverside building by NPS Tchoban Voss, Nhow is the largest hotel in­terior completed to date by Rashid’s namesake firm. Decor encapsulates his prolific career in industrial design, showcasing production pieces from stools to desks. In addition, he included a wide variety of custom items in splashy colors and shapes. Slightly psychedelic patterns, digitally printed on the flooring and curtain fabric in the 304 guest rooms and suites, make each one of them unique.

Fiberglass forms, coated in automotive paint in his signature bubble-gum pink, are a recurring motif starting with the N that welcomes guests at the front entrance. Defining the lobby is what he calls a “huge blob,” an amorphous pink structure cast in one piece to house a desk for the receptionists and computers for all. The café features pink buffet stations. In the lounge, he switched to gold paint for the fiberglass sculpture rising from inside the circular bar. An enormous magic mushroom? Actually, it’s Rashid’s own profile rotated 360 degrees.

A dedicated DJ when not designing, he has already selected tracks for the playlist at the Nhow lounge. And he’s definitely on the hotel’s rock-star wavelength. Once guests complete a demo tape, they can simply stroll next door to the German headquarters of Universal Music.


Teknica Consultores de Iluminacíon: Lighting Consultant. IPEC Group: Construction Consultant. Bayer Glasbau: Glasswork. Kaiser: Fiberglass Contractor. BAM Deutschland: General Contractor. 

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