A part of the
Koch and his team at
Here, Domino sits down with Koch to get a sense of his vision for the space.
Black creates a sense of mystery, and the bathroom becomes a place with a bit of hide and seek. In your bathroom at home, you want to see clearly how you look. But the way we used tile and light creates something of a dark reflection. It’s like coming home after a party—you always see the silhouette.
Tell me about the black tile that is used throughout the bathroom. What did you need to consider when choosing the tile?
It is a black Italian marble with white veins. This marble is the opposite of the standard marble, which is typically white with dark veins. Basically, we tried to invert the marble concept of white with threads of black. We wanted something memorable, something that looked like a jewelry store and felt like a high-end fashion boutique. We also built in a lot of vertical elements—the portal of curtained French doors when you first enter the room, and the shower, for example—and marble underlines that structure.
The floor tile is the same as what is used on the wall, but it seems darker. The difference in tone is only a trick of the eye. By layering dark on dark, we could create accents in the dark so that all the important elements like the faucet, mirror, sink, and hooks stick out, and the black tile feels like a backdrop.
There is even a darkened mirror in the shower. Why?
We wanted to play with this idea of seduction and confusion by adding another dimension. The dark glass makes more of a silhouette of the body, so the reflection you see is always abstracted. We wanted to inspire the guest to think, “I don’t need to see myself,” but to see themselves as a silhouette. By using this darkened glass, you can see what you want or what you like to see. The glass gives you possibilities to get a different impression of yourself. It’s sheer and playful.
We set the lighting so that it creates a focus on important items. There is a pendant next to the sink/main mirror/makeup mirror that casts an overall light. Stainless steel elements on the sink are glossy, and create a strong contrast. And the white sink bounces light up. The makeup mirror also has a halo of light around it. In this lighting scenario, the guest is the only focus, the bathroom is “disappearing.” We added a spotlight in the shower to put the guest in the light.
The bathroom is no longer humdrum; it becomes a room of glamour. Let’s call it a spa room. Though the focused lighting enables you to still take care of the functional tasks like shaving or putting on makeup, the bathroom is now more about feeling good in your body.
In general, could you talk about how lighting needed to be adjusted in order to compensate for the dark surroundings?
LED lines help to outline the main elements, and the other lighting in the room needs to be strong and sharply focused. The most important thing is to add very warm LEDs. LED 2700, which is what we used in Roomers Munich, is the warmest standard white you can get: You will not look pale, or like you are at the dentist.
In the bedroom, we used spotlights to project directly on the artwork, like a light cone. Many of the lights in the bedroom are recessed, so you only see the cone on the wall—not the light itself.
In many hotels, there is a general sort of beige illumination. We tried to cut that out and create islands of light in a dark background. At Roomers Munich, the lights have pre-sets so the guests can design the lighting the way they like. Pull on the tassel over the bed to explore the pre-sets. At home, it’s great to have pre-sets that have “cozy mode” or “bright mode.”
The goal was for the tub to have the same importance and appreciation as a way of relaxation as the bed. We wanted a location for the tub that was dramatic and the center of attention. It’s the same idea as having a hot tub on a porch or deck. The guest can simply lounge in the tub or watch TV, or even roll right from the bed into the bath. Of course, there were some technical considerations, such as flooring and drainage.
Gold exudes elusiveness and luxury.
Yes, but gold, when not incorporated properly, can be, well, tacky. When designing a room using gold, how do you avoid making it look tacky?
Stay minimal and focused on utility. We tried to use gold in a more industrial way and avoid “decorational” shapes: no gold-leaf sculptures or dying swans! When working with any metal, it can get very technical. We created gold rods for the furniture; they look serious, but understated. We used gold in the lobby, too—in straight panels.
We liked the idea of secrecy, and that these woven boxes contained an element of surprise. They were inspired by modular systems. We added cubes to the vertical rod elements. The mesh box is very architectural, and it’s purposefully placed at eye height so that the guest can see the quality of the finely woven mesh. A light pendant was placed inside so that the light could shine out through the mesh and create an interesting shadow on the wall. The light also can bounce off the wine glasses hanging on the wine rack for a kaleidoscopic effect.
The shag rug is also gold.
The shag rug is a warm island on the parquet floor. It’s also a trick—if you have a golden material in the room, light becomes a lot warmer and more human. You can see that there is not really color in the room except gold and two green chairs. Gold creates a warm footprint—the rug is warm when you touch it, and visually warm.
The well-proportioned use of the color combination.
Let’s start with the idea that it is a hidden room. Guests need to open something like a cabinet door to find it. We took inspiration from Adolf Loos’s American Bar in Vienna (also called
Since everything is red except the ceiling, the human eye adjusts after 10 minutes and sees red as neutral. At that point, everything else becomes desaturated, and the feel is like in a black and white movie.
If you think of it like American Bar, it’s a bar and features a “classic club” setting submerged in scarlet tones with red wood and soft red paneling. The fully programmable illuminated cassette ceiling can transform the elegant whiskey room into a mesmerizing private club. It invites guests to stay longer, and perhaps be surprised by what the evening may bring. Mirror elements along the upper portion of the walls act like an infinity mirror. The mirrors reflect the light of the ceiling cassettes, and the effect is a blurring of the boundaries.
Lamps on the wall add a small amount of illumination, and there are lights in the ceiling. Every cassette has its own LED, and can animate and create effects individually. We also built in sound elements—each cassette has its own IP address (there are 24)—so DJs can adjust to suit.
We really wanted to make it “wow.” Red only works because everything is red—the desaturation effect is the interesting thing. After your eyes adjust, the ceiling becomes the active part. We wanted to create a special experience that you don’t typically have at home. Light is essential to creating the sensory experience of this room.
We wanted to create an off-the-radar moment during the transition from the lobby to your room. If you feel loosely oriented or feel something like distance while walking in the hall, then you will be “wow-ed” when you enter the room.
See more design-focused hotels:
Get all the news you never knew you needed when you sign up here.