interior of hotel lobby bar

Creative Hospitality Company 25hours Opens its First Hotel in Scandinavia

New York and London–based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio transforms an 18th-century university building in Copenhagen into a colorful retreat.

Located in the center of Copenhagen, Denmark, the 243-room 25hours Hotel Indre By opened this spring. The 25hours brand, which is known for a focus on individuality, authenticity, and personality, boasts the motto “If you know one, you don’t know one” across its locations in Europe and the Middle East.

The four-building complex near Europe’s oldest functioning observatory, the Round Tower, has a rich history. Occupied in 1775 by the Royal Porcelain Factory, it was then used to make paper during the 1800s and converted to the University of Copenhagen’s school of theology and law, which occupied the buildings until 2017.

exterior of hotel building with an interior by Martin Brudnizki

“Copenhagen and the hotel group are known for their creativity in different formats,” says Martin Brudnizki, the founder of his eponymous design studio, who adds that his task was to “Work towards a unifying design that would appeal to both.”

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A constant reference for the project was the idea of “coming of age” and the designers split the hotel’s rooms into styles based on “Passion” and “Knowledge.” Using the idea of learning and discovery to create a multi-layered design, MBDS tied a unifying thread through the complex.

Sweden-raised Brudnizki says that Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer who discovered a supernova, and Charles Darwin inspired the “Knowledge Rooms”.

interior of hotel restaurant with string lights and green and white tiled floor

“Brahe’s drawings and calculations and extracts from Darwin’s diary entries feature on bespoke wallpapers,” Brudnizki explains. Objects and artwork inspired by the scientists, such as binoculars, skulls, butterflies, and globes round out the picture.

The work of Sophie Klerk, a Danish mixed media collage artist, and the Danish painter and muralist Jacoba Niepoort imbue the “Passion Rooms”, which are brought to life by a cork wall elevation behind the headboard decorated with collage, graphic checkerboard patterns, and mural-style wallpaper.

To bring warmth and character to the hotel, MBDS draws on the local colors of Copenhagen. Vibrant and saturated tones of aubergine, mustard, hunter green, and cobalt blue are referenced again and again in the wall paint, the sofa patterns, and even the floor tiles.  

Brudnizki chooses the Assembly Lobby as a culmination of all the above and a celebration of its local surroundings. The lobby is one of his favorite spots in the hotel, which also offers a Vinyl Room, a space for guests to work, a Love Library and the Boilerman Bar in the basement.

guest room at the hotel decorated with scientific drawings on the wall.

“I want visitors to feel engaged and electrified, but [also discover] something different and unexpected in a beautiful city,” Brudnizki says of the emotions he wants to evoke with his design.

When Brudnizki, who has also worked on boutique brands like The Beekman in New York and Soho Beach House in Miami, looks at creating a sense of well-being in hospitality projects, he’ll often try to create environments that feel like a home and cozy spheres where guests can relax without feeling intimidated.

“Creating a sense of escapism, which feels familiar yet comfortable, is exciting and playful,” Brudnizki says.

“It’s a balance.”

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