The five-star Side Hotel in downtown Hamburg, opened its doors on April 26, 2001 in the immediate vicinity of opera house, theatres, shops, station, trade fair and business district. Brainchild of the Jan Störmer Architekten practice which submitted the contract-winning plans to an international competition in September 1997, this impressive building took more than three years to realise.
Two eight-storey blocks made of laminated glass and natural stone with lighting features cling to a massive stone central “backbone”. The whole blends harmoniously into its urban surroundings.
The laminated glass central atrium is 30 metres high. This heart of the hotel is impressive and expressive: the trapezoidal floor plan and glass façade tilt at an angle of 3o to create an astonishing spatial tension. The play of space and light elicits a sensual quality which the Jan Störmer team see as linking in with today’s urban generation. Robert Wilson’s creative lighting (computer assisted light impulses) gradually changes in colour and intensity as day passes into night. Designer, Matteo Thun, has divided the 178 rooms into 5 categories, all minimalist in style yet welcoming, comfortable and with a personal touch. Ten “flying” suites on the 10th and 11th floors have white as their major theme.
Another highlight is the hotel lounge on the 8th floor, high above the roofs of Hamburg. It gives onto two unusual views: outside, over the port and Lake Alster and inside, onto the atrium 25 metres below. Another feature is the open-air roof terrace, a perfect venue for summer parties and events.
On the ground floor, the bar and “Fusion” restaurant serve as a meeting place for hotel guests and outside visitors alike. The cuisine unites eastern and western culinary traditions. The bar, resplendent in provocative red, is a place to “see and be seen in”. On the open gallery of the first floor, three multi-purpose function rooms arranged around the atrium can host up to 300 people.
Although below ground, the ballroom (accommodating 200 people for celebrations or conferences) is illuminated by natural daylight. The pool and beauty/fitness centres are decked out in a host of colours: a happy place in which to unwind and indulge in a little body care and pampering, taking advantage of the superior selection of wellness.