Considering interior design to be an extremely powerful tool to tell the story of the former palace and create a direct dialogue with each guest, Indrė Baršauskaitė and Greta Valikonė, architects and founders of YES.design.architecture, set 4 initial goals for the restoration project:
– To tell the historic story of the building
– To unite the past and present visually
– To create a harmonic and artistic atmosphere
– To blend in Baltic culture in an authentic way
Embedding centuries in one single interior design
In the heart of Vilnius’ Old Town, home to a university, a presidential palace and an abundance of museums, embassies and not forgetting the city’s coolest spots for dining and drinking, Hotel PACAI perfectly echoes the quarter’s 17th-century baroque grandeur, yet augments it with a contemporary twist.
Opening its hotel doors in spring 2018, the palace and former residence of Lithuanian nobles Pacai, was one of the most ornate in Vilnius for a few centuries. Dating back to 1677, the palace has witnessed the times of Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, the rule of Russian tsars and Napoleon’s entrance to Vilnius.
Today, dressed as Hotel PACAI, the building is an oasis of cross-sensory experiences, reviving the vibe of the palace and its noble past. The hotel invites to indulge in singular architecture, lavish design in authentic Baltic colour palette and dreamy art. The restored palace has gained two more floors and is now a 5-story, 104-room hotel with a reconstructed baroque roof.
Clay, tin and original barn wood do the work
With the most of the palace’s spaces dating back centuries, the designers’ goal was to keep the history visible in a quite direct way. Thus, the existing frescoes and unique textures of the walls are emphasized through lightning.
And generally, all materials and details are specified for their elegance and classical purity. Through the resent renovation, for example, traditional materials such as clay, tin, stone and original barn wood were used. The new part of the hotel is crafted to serve as a supporting backdrop to the palace.
2 carpet stories
The historical part of the palace was revived with the help of a detailed and historically minded architectural plan. Indrė Baršauskaitė and Greta Valikonė explain: “A unique carpet design is one of the tools used to reflect the hotel concept striving at uniting the relationship between modern and historical in an authentic visual story.”
Though each carpet for the guest rooms are individual, they are grouped in 2 overall themes. Thus, some carpets reflect the relationship between old and new through patterns of well-known materials like black and white marble. With no intention of making a complete imitation, this group of designs aims at using marble as a natural inspiration to celebrate the variety and authenticity of our impressive nature.
The second design theme interprets the Baltic region’s seasonal colours by transferring the colours of each season to carpets. The designs are developed through blurred paintings created in a workshop with painters and various artists. In the process, the design team scrapped many sketches with only a few making their way to the floors.
“Each piece of carpet in the rooms, conference halls and selected corridors are original works of art created by Lithuanian painters and transferred to soft carpet. No rooms feature the same pattern so each space becomes unique and exceptional, just as every single guest.”Indrė Baršauskaitė and Greta Valikonė, architects and founders of YES.design.architecture
“The carpet we love the most? A painted pattern in pastel colours reflecting the Baltic winter season.”Indrė Baršauskaitė and Greta Valikonė, architects and founders of YES.design.architecture
A cozy, artistic atmosphere includes soft, deep tones in the public areas and artwork in the rooms. Soft materials as furniture fabrics, curtains and rugs were specified to avoid installing acoustic panels.