new life into the city
Sun, shrimp, and goats, the new emblems of the renovated Koper hotel.
Aleš Piščanc and Marja Černe wanted to spice up the tourism scene in Koper and decided to breathe some new life into their city.
They completely overhauled Koper’s main hotel and opened it for lovers of attractive modern design at the end of May 2021. They drew inspiration for the renovation primarily from the building’s history. They would also like its strategic central location to make it a thriving hub along Koper’s coastline – not just for guests, but for everyone. After all, the Grand has plenty of stories to tell beyond its hotel rooms.
Grand Koper – taking tradition to the future
Koper’s central hotel grew from a building that was first intended as a school. Under the moniker Hotel Triglav it first welcomed guests for New Year’s Eve in 1952. It was designed by renowned architect Edo Mihevc, who masterfully orchestrated the conversion from school to hotel, earning great praise for his result. He had an air for modernity even back then, and Triglav became known as a cutting edge hotel with gorgeous interior design.
Almost 70 years later the hotel is set to once again delight guests under the name of the Grand Koper. In truth the building is no different than it once was, its open, lofty structure still the same as ever. The details, though, have ushered the hotel into a whole new era, with modern touches, premium services, and a truly special designer story. The hotel’s masterstroke is its diverse and always trendsetting menu, towards which Marja and Aleš have been working for a whole decade.
The Grand’s garden used to be one of the city’s main social centers. It regularly hosted dance evenings, which played an important role after opening in 1952 in forming Koper’s new post-war communities, again acting as a bridge between various cultures and languages. The hotel endeavors to retain that spirit.
»We see the Grand as sort of a city within a city; in addition to our guest rooms, there are important elements like our restaurant, pizzeria, and lobby bar, as well as the coworking spaces we have on offer. We want the Grand Koper (again) to become a place for socializing – not just for our guests, may they be businesspeople, tourists, or other visitors, but also for the local residents. This will help us rekindle the hotel’s former uniting spirt, help us rewrite the myth that hotels are closed spaces, and above all to build upon this openness at all levels.«
Aleš Piščanc, Grand Koper
Mihevc’s hotel with a postmodern design
»Modern, critical, full of inspiration from cultural heritage, traditional local identities, and a Mediterranean mentality.« That’s how experts described Edo Mihevc’s style, whose architectural undertakings truly left their mark on Koper and the whole of Slovenian Istria. Mihevc was also key in bringing the hotel to life after WWII.
In short, most of the adjectives and superlatives you used for Mihevc’s work apply in full to the new Grand Koper.
The hotel was revived by AKSL architects, while David Tavčar created all the other design features and patterns that are prominent throughout. The hotel’s completely new appearance is a nod to history, but we can’t call it nostalgic, as there is no hint of a retro style. In truth it is all postmodern in design, and as such can only exist in the present era. Postmodernism can be seen in the use of modernistic archetypes from the 20th century (tapestries, wall plates, rugs and carpets, symbols of postcards and graphics, etc.), but adapted to our times.