The Amano Grand Central, inaugurate in August 2015, offers 250 rooms and suites on six floors, conference rooms, fitness studio, a bistro, and a skybar with 250 m2 of green rooftop terrace and a spectacular view over Berlin. Stylish interior design, high-quality materials, and a strong floor concept with over 5,000 m2 of smoked oak in a herringbone pattern guaranteed an attractive, trendy hotel ambience.
The Amano Grand Central is located across from Berlin Hauptbahnhof, right next to the new Europa City and the government district nearby. In the middle of the striving quarter with offices, residences, studios, and museums, the new building followed the concept of the Amano hotel group, founded in 2009, allowing tourists and those travelling on business an urban living experience at an extremely fair price. The guest expects furnishings that are high above the 3-star standard: high-quality materials like real wood flooring and marble, modern design with Bauhaus characteristics, a polished lighting concept, and as a special highlight, the ceiling-high glassed Skybar on the upper floor, a point of attraction for hotel guests and the Berlin party scene.
The interior concept
The concept, with which the architect Nadia Kayat won the job for designing the hotel at an international contest, is not just limited to the interior design. It integrates the architecture and the special central location by the central train station into the interior design so that the exterior and interior are related to one another. “Plan in context, and develop from the city to the interior,” Nadia Kaya explains her concept. Thus the hotel, for one thing, is accessible via an inviting bistro in 1920’s style, with outdoor terraces and mirrored walls and ceilings that reflect the life of the big city. For another, it guides visitors through a generous lobby and fireplace lounge to a green courtyard, towards which all the adjacent rooms are oriented as the centrepiece of the house.
Black granite and smoked oak in light/dark contrast
“The hotel should be attractive to international clientèle, with a timeless, modern design,” says Kayat. Everything is designed in a light/dark contrast and exudes a special sense of value. Large genuine stone tiles, made of black Nero Assoluto granite polished to a high shine, lead from the entrance area to the interior. All the other areas from the bistro to the conference rooms, rooms, and bar are fitted with floors in dark, heavy smoked oak with a herringbone pattern. The black and white theme is consistent throughout all 250 rooms. They are distinguished by a modern puristic design and high-quality materials, from the bed headboard in heavy black oak to the dark floors throughout. The floor contrasts with white walls and furniture, completed by light and dark accessories.
Technically demanding execution
“The demands on the real wood flooring were high, about 5,400 m2 of heavy smoked oak in a herringbone pattern were a challenge,” Ingo Döring summarises. To start with, custom work was scheduled in rooms with many corners, some of which were only 10-15 m2 . Because the heavy wood block flooring has to be cut to size and measured on location for the high-class, extravagant herringbone installation. “Angled cuts were required here, too,” says Döring. Finally, it was sanded, cemented, and oiled six more times. To execute the installation of the classic pattern perfect on all six floors, including the stairs in the Skybar, Döring got support from a qualified expert flooring consultant. With Dirk Hohenhaus from UZIN, he planned the substrate preparation, the floor construction required for the given situation, and the impact sound absorption - a sensitive area in every hotel - which was installed directly on the raw concrete ceiling except for on the ground floor.
Floor construction and the art of installing wood flooring
“A screed was only built into the ground floor, and in all the other areas we had to devise a suitable floor structure on the precast concrete parts,” explains UZIN expert flooring consultant Dirk Hohenhaus. First, the rough concrete had to be sanded and strewn with epoxy resin to protect against increased residual moisture. Then the smoothing compound UZIN NC 160 was applied in the guest rooms and suites. The self-levelling compound is for layers up to 20 mm thick, ideally suited for commercial areas. It is especially low-tension, highly fluid, and forms a perfectly smooth, level substrate. Cork and rubber granulate mats were installed on top with the wood flooring adhesive UZIN MK 92 S dark for impact sound absorption.
Then the complex wood flooring installation could begin. To retain the visually sophisticated appearance over a long period of time, only a hard, shear-resistant 2-component adhesive with good ridge formation would do, which allowed time-intensive wood flooring installations to be executed securely. UZIN won the tender with UZIN MK 92 Plus, which guarantees long processing times even at high temperatures or humidities thanks to its extremely long pot life and working time of up to 60 minutes. It was darkly pigmented for added benefit; matching the wood joint in the wood of the floor provides optical advantages.
The super-fast primer UZIN PE 414 Turbo was used on the screed throughout the ground floor. The 1-component reactive resin primer achieves a rough substrate surface, thus improving the adhesive bond in the subsequent adherence of the wood flooring. The hard, shear-resistant, and fast-setting adhesive UZIN MK 92 S dark was the best solution for the entrance and lounge areas, which see high levels of traffic. It ensures the necessary hold and fast installation without bulges. Like UZIN MK 92 Plus, it also is solvent-free and has very low emission; this makes it the ideal choice for large public areas.
With its exquisite interior design and the perfectly structured floor, the Amano Grand Central, as the biggest hotel in the group to date, remains true to the company vision of creating an affordable yet luxurious cosy atmosphere. Above all, the floor in the classic pattern and style of stately Berlin urban villas contributes immensely to the impression of premium class. “With the modern furnishings and lighting concept, it creates harmonious, upscale ambiance,” says head of construction Döring.