The Hotel Magnolia is a newly renovated building located within the historic center of Santiago, Chile. An urban boutique hotel, consisting of 42 rooms, dates back to 1929 when is was built as a mansion for a wealthy political family. It was later converted to an apartment and office building before being refurbished by award-winning architect Cazú Zegers and interior decorator Carolina Delpiano.
Three new floors were added to the existing 3-story building with a new rooftop terrace offering views of both the city and the surrounding mountainous landscape. The façade of the hotel’s upper floors reproduces the cut stone of the original building imprinted on the glass cladding of the curtain wall.
The design of Magnolia is a dialogue between the traditional architecture of Santiago’s caso antiguo and the contemporary language of glass, premium materials and recycled elements, such as the original floor boards which are now used to clad the hotel corridor’s walls. The issue of light, whether natural or artificial, was a determining factor for the designers for recreating a series of rooms that did not have much light nor landscape views.
The approach was to restore the existing courtyards by maximizing the light introduced deep into the plan and adding ultra modern lights in the bedrooms and common spaces to compensate for the lack of daylight. The WIREFLOW collection (designed by Arik Levy for Vibia) is featured to great effect at the foot of the cascading marble staircase. Its familiar but avant-garde re-imagining of the traditional chandelier captures the essence of this interior.
Architect Cazú Zegers, who coincidentally is a descendant of the original building’s owners, is interviewed about the design of this project. She describes the challenges that are involved with working on a project like this, which draw upon not only the recent history and traditions of Chile but the ancient beliefs and ways of understanding nature of the Incas whose legacy is still a factor in our contemporary world. Read her story here.
Photography: Cristóbal Ganderats
Lighting Design: Paulina Sir
Architect: Cazu Zegers