A contemporary haven nestled in a historical landmark in the center of the capital of gastronomy, the InterContinental Lyon Hotel Dieu is on the site of one of the city's most emblematic historical landmark buildings.
Designed by interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, this luxurious and elegant hotel rests on what used to be a hospital that had been in operation for over 800 years.
Ideally situated on the banks of the Rhône river, this 18th century masterpiece maintains the original beauty and architecture of the building while offering a contemporary monastic, yet sophisticated design rooted in the silk history of Lyon.
Monastic and precious: the juxtaposition of these two ideas expresses the aim of the decorative concept for the Grand Hôtel Dieu de Lyon. It is derived from the very essence of the building, from the history of these Hôtel-Dieu.
The apparent dichotomy between the building's function and its extravagant architecture is the very essence of the Hôtel-Dieu; one needs to go back in history to understand the mechanism, with the dominant position held by religion. But while the external architecture is highly ornamental, historically the interior already expressed the dichotomy between architecture and function.
Le Dôme Bar is nestled in the heart of the hotel within the grand dome, one of the most breath-taking features of the property. Inside, the great dome displays the same richness as the exterior, in contrast to the other much more sober spaces, with their stone floors, plastered walls and timber ceilings. Originally housing a chapel, today the Dome is a space where hotel guests and locals can come together under its 32m high ceiling for all-day-long drinks and light bites.
Utilizing Lyon’s traditional know-hows, the furnishings, benches and screens through the hotel’s lobby-reception and concierge area were specially designed for the project. The fabrics were chosen to fit with the dialogue between monastic and ornamentation, using Lyonnais silks from Verel de Belval against plain canvases. The new interventions stand in contrast to the historical details throughout the entire hotel.
Black timber paneling in the reception is punctuated by gilt wall lights, playing homage to the city of lights, visible from the outside. Made using the same traditional Lyon silks, these were designed in association with Veronique de Soultrait.
The ambition of all those involved was to bring alive the heritage while embracing the building's new function. Particular care was taken in ensuring that this historic building be accessible to the general public and in particular to the Lyonnais. Because of its position within the city's landscale, as well as the sentimental and emotional position it occupies because of its historical use, the Grand Hôtel Dieu de Lyon is indeed an exceptional building.
The project aims to reinstate these links within a new relationship with the city and its inhabitants. The decoration is part of this undertaking, with design decisions going beyond mere aesthetic to take into account history and the present day in order to give meaning and timelessness to the project.