Atellior's project Ikador Hotel featured in Sleeper Magazine Issue 86

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The stunning Ikador Hotel by Atellior design featured on Sleeper Magazine

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The new build property sits on the rocky shores of the Adriatic Sea, and is constructed in the style of the nearby villas that still stand as a reminder of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Interiors too recall a bygone era, with a scheme that marries classic and contemporary as devised by Zagreb-and London-based practice Atellior. “We wanted to evoke the spirit of the golden age of Opatija in a modern context, using timeless materials in contemporary and fresh combinations,” say the studio’s founders Una Barac and Ante Marić, who took the lead on the project together with team members Tea Matija Pinjuh and Ljerka Kabelka. “The endless sea view of Kvarner Bay is visible from every corner of the hotel, so our interior colour schemes were inspired by the accents of sun-gold pouring over sea-blue, with highlights of green to represent the Mediterranean pine trees. Luxurious finishes, carefully chosen materials and bespoke furniture give fluidity to the contemporary yet timeless signature of our design.”


Interview with Executive Director Una Barac for SPARK by IMAGIN

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SPARK is a series of interviews gathering insight from world-class designers, architects and hospitality leaders

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What does luxury mean to you? How do you stay creative? How do you define your style aesthetic? These are the questions being explored by SPARK.

SPARK is a series of interviews gathering insight from world-class designers, architects and hospitality leaders, brought to you from some of the most exquisite hotels in London. For the first episode, Imagin Lighting's Founder Terry Hibbert spoke to Una Barac, Joey Goel-Jones & Federico Toresi in the magnificent Savoy Hotel, London.



Ikalia Spa at Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa featured in Croatia Week News


Ikalia Spa at Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa in Croatia

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Croatia Week News wrote about Ikalia Spa at Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa.

Perched on the Adriatic sea with its own private beach, Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel welcomed its first guests in April 2019 with 8 elegant rooms and 6 luxuriously appointed suites. Nobilion restaurant offers fresh Mediterranean cuisine, while Riva Lounge provides the ultimate in luxe coastal lifestyle. The hotel’s third floor is devoted to Ikalia Spa, a temple of wellness made in homage to the ancient Illyrian goddess Ika, for whom both the hotel and town are named. Spa therapy rooms include a rasul chamber, float room, solarium and 3 dedicated treatment suites for spa therapies. With spa concept and treatment design by Illyria Wellness, interior design by Atellior, and wellness equipment by Spa 2.O, Ikalia Spa at Ikador Hotel is a stunning addition to the Opatija Riviera’s wellness tradition and the first Leading Hotels of the World® property in the region.


New Luxury Boutique Ikador Hotel & Spa featured in Space


Luxury Boutique Ikador Hotel & Spa featured in Space International Hotel Design Magazine

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London and Zagreb and works on projects worldwide.

The designs for the stunning boutique hotel gave Atellior the opportunity to pull on the beauty of its location in Opatija, a popular year-round Middle European riviera resort, for its inspiration.

“We wanted to evoke the spirit of the golden age of Opatija in a modern context, using timeless materials in contemporary and fresh combinations for this project,” say Atellior’s Una Barac and Ante Maric. “We’ve peppered the design with unexpected elements across the rooms. The endless sea view of Kvarner Bay is visible from every corner of the hotel, so our interior colour schemes were inspired by the accents of sun-gold pouring over sea-blue with highlights of green to represent the Mediterranean pine trees. Luxurious finishes, carefully chosen materials and bespoke furniture give fluidity to the contemporary yet timeless signature of our design.”

Atellior has used layers, textures and opulent tones of velvety deep red, Gold Calacata marble and Black Travertine stone with brass to give the Spa experience its truly indulgent atmosphere. A functional, but still luxuriously designed, fully equipped conference room is also available.


Atellior's hospitality project Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius featured in Büro 24/7

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Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius featured in Büro 24/7

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In December 2016 Atellior was commissioned by Hanner, the leading Lithuanian real estate developer, to provide the interior design services on their first Courtyard by Marriott in Lithuania. The hotel opened to the public in April 2018 as a part of a major city centre redevelopment and is located on the site of the former Žalgiris Stadium. The 199-room hotel features a contemporary a la carte restaurant and relaxing bar with a beautiful terrace facing the citadel and six stunning meeting rooms.

Atellior team, headed by architects Una Barac and Ante Marić and project architect Lana Petrak, had a task to deliver modern interior design in line with the contemporary hotel architecture by encapsulating the standards of the Courtyard by Marriott brand.

The new build hotel in the redevelopment area of Vilnius has enabled us to capture the beauty of the old town through the use of evocative materials, colour and form.  The hotel’s distinctive exterior with sharp sloping lines and black glass façades face the old town and is a stunning statement to the old and the new. We designed a totally free-flowing flexible lobby area which is both relaxing and business like. The interior of the hotel public space reflects the building’s exterior architecture by mirroring the exterior façade lines which we picked up on in interior elements. The use of materials such as geometric brushed steel and concrete, along with the bespoke lighting complement the accent colours of bright yellow and sophisticated blue shades that we have used in the lobby and lounge interiors.

The lighting design was key to the beautiful space and we worked closely with leading Lithuanian lighting designer Marius Mateika on the project. Together with Marius we designed a striking lighting feature that represent himmeli, a traditional Baltic holiday decoration made of straw. The lighting installation floats above the two-floor gallery lobby.

In the restaurant, we centered the fireplace in the heart of the space and incorporated copper shades throughout to add warmth, making this the perfect place to meet and relax. The bedrooms offer a light space for guests to relax or work with tonal hues that complement aqua blue art and cool tones within wooden headboards.


Executive Director Una Barac took part at the round table discussion about sustainability

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The panel of experts discussed the pressures the design community is under at the round table organized by Mix Interiors at the Cosentino's showroom in London

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Mix Interiors latest round table assessed some of the pressures that the design community is under when the key objective is to land the job but still aim to provide a sustainable solution. So, suitably surrounded by sponsor Cosentino’s beautiful and sustainable products – who were generous enough to take over their Old Street showroom for this round table - the pannel began by discussing the real meaning of sustainability from esteemed panel’s eyes.


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“In our experience it is between seven and 15 years, although we have seen projects that are refurbished within five years. These tend to be soft refurbs in heavy footfall areas in cities such as London and New York, which have heavy occupancies. When it comes to materials, they carry the embedded energy within them and therefore are often not really sustainable – or certainly are more or less so, depending on what you’re using. Ultimately though, the big things are the air conditioning units and the chillers. By their nature, hotels are not the greenest of building typologies. We can all sit here and happily debate this subject – but when we go to our hotel rooms on a business trip or a holiday we want different temperatures, different settings – which means a non-sustainable system. It is the MEP in hotels that is the big sustainability tick or minus. Ultimately, we all want the right settings in our rooms, so our hoteliers are providing us with what we want – which are not very sustainable buildings.” - Una Barac, Founder and Executive Director, Atellior


Atellior featured in Storybook Magazine Issue 35

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Atellior International design practice and luxury penthouse projects in London featured in Storybook Magazine Issue 35


Croatian journalist and TV presenter Mia Kovačić talks with Una Barac and Ante Maric, founders of Atellior, about a couple of their recent projects in the UK. Una and Ante opened the doors to The Balmoral and Fulham Reach, two luxurious and beautifully appointed London penthouses, which are the work of internationally renowned design studio Atellior, with offices in London and Zagreb.


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The Balmoral is located at the prestigious One Tower Bridge Development, near notable landmarks as The Tower of London and the London Assembly.  With such iconic surroundings the interior, with its floor to ceiling windows, had to blend effortlessly into the surroundings.  Furniture is striking but not dominate, fabrics are bold but calm. In the Master Bedroom, bespoke Italian wallpaper was incorporated into the headboard to amazing effect. Artelior worked closely with London artisan furniture manufacturers to make unique one-off pieces of furniture. Una and Ante also worked with a Croatian specialist joinery company to create unique pieces using the finest Italian stone, oak, veneer and brass.

Fulham Reach is situated in the west of London near Hammersmith. The ambiance of the place matches this great location with countless bars, restaurants and theatres. The 3-bedroom penthouse that Atellior created is breath-taking. Again, inspiration for the interior was taken from the surrounding landscape. Striking curation of artwork adorns the walls, the use of brass in mirrors and lamps adds warmth and tonal hues give an air of relaxation with the open plan living area creating the perfect setting for entertaining.

Atellior’s take on latest materials featured in Interior Design Magazine July Issue

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“As a trained architect I appoach interiors with a lot of dept and consideration for both the aesthetic and pragmatic aspects of design. Form and function go hand in hand on our projects. The materials we select need to be equally beautiful and be fit for purpose in terms durability and longevity.” - Una Barac, Founder and Executive Director, Atellior


Executive Director Una Barac writes a feature for Boutique Hotel News

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Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior shares her insights in to what makes a successful boutique hotel project

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Understand your guests and their needs

As obvious as this seems, knowing your guests is critical in ensuring that they enjoy their stay, return to your property and recommend you not only to their friends, but hundreds and thousands of their social media followers. In today's ever-evolving, fast-paced world it is harder than ever for the hotel owners and operators to keep up with their guests' needs. Hotel operations are investing more time and money in market research, marketing and PR campaigns in order to understand, reach-out and connect with their guests.

Understand your site/building

Getting to grips with site constraints and opportunities is the first step in successful hotel development. Doing your homework and preparing at the start with all the necessary site surveys and gaining a good understanding of the planning process that lies ahead will go a long way in mitigating development risk.

It sounds obvious but a good consultant is essential in the early stages of the design and development process. Daunting as it may seem, you will spend considerable sums of money on all the necessary surveys and hiring an experienced team of consultants it is a sure way to save both years in the planning and development process and hundreds of thousands of pounds on claims and fire-fighting later down the line.

Create comfort throughout the hotel

Comfort is key in the design of all boutique, lifestyle and upscale hotels. Business guests face gruelling travel and meeting schedules, giving them very little time to relax and restore their energy levels. On top of that, they are far from home and loved ones, often travelling alone so, their needs will often be different to those on holiday. Holidaymakers are looking for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Even if they are busy exploring the local sites they need to recuperate once they return to the hotel.

At Atellior we aim to provide all guests with a great night's rest in comfortable beds. Fabulous showers are now really key as guests often don't have the time for a long bath! Welcoming public areas with good F&B provision; and space to work, exercise and relax are crucial. Comfort is at the epicentre of all the aforementioned experiences and hotel zones. It is imperative that the guests are feeling comfortable both in terms of ergonomic design of facilities and furniture. But comfort also extends into the service that is provided. We work closely with the owners and their operating teams to enable them to provide high levels of service and ultimate comfort for their guests.

Create a memorable experience

Experience is the buzz-word of the moment, with the rise of the Millennial culture. We see young people turn their backs on the big brands in all aspects of their lives. They are seeking unique experiences instead and this is now becoming intergenerational.

In the past only boutique hotels and upscale branded hotels, aimed to create spectacular atmosphere and experience within their public areas with destination bars, restaurants and spas. The rise of Lifestyle Focus in hospitality, has created a considerable shift and even the large brands are jumping onto this trend by creating Lifestyle brands within their portfolios at mid-scale. Hilton has Canopy and Curio; InterContinental Hotel Group Kimpton and Indigo; Accor M Gallery and Mama Shelter; Marriott acquired a number of lifestyle brands with the merger of Starwood.

In order to assist our clients to create memorable experience for their guests we approach each project with a check list:
• Bedrooms are of course at the top of the list, a sanctuary for the guest to retreat to. We covered essentials for good bedroom design in tip No.3. Simple as it may sound, the bed and shower are the foundations of good bedroom design;
• Welcoming entrance and reception, as first impressions really do count. It is important to ensure that all guests feel welcome, aware of the facilities and service that is on offer. For the more progressive guests it is important to offer quick and interactive check-in and check-out. Reception has evolved from classic desk to smaller, more personal pods, mobile and tablet check-in, dynamic concierge and mix of staff and latest technology. Guests are offered both a personal and a technology-lead experience, to suit different guest profiles and needs;
• F&B is the heart and soul of every successful hotel. Open-plan, welcoming, allowing fluid interaction between different zones; In order for every experience to be memorable and unique F&B explores different cultures through fusion. We work closely with the hotel owners and operating teams to link our design to all aspects of the F&B design. Design is not just spatial planning and FF&E; Good design connects to the F&B offering, menu, staff uniforms through to the music that is played in the public areas.
• MICE is not just a revenue generator for large brands. Boutique and lifestyle hotels have a lot to offer to smaller, less corporate clients, which are on the rise along with the growing number of start-ups, entrepreneurial, tech and creative businesses. Team building can no longer afford to be a corporate chore, but instead it needs to be a unique experience one finds in a Members Club. Weddings, parties, celebrations all need to be memorable and unique. 
• Spa should not be a box-ticking exercise with small pool, sauna and treatment rooms banished to the depths of the basement. Space planning with a good spa consultant needs to be integrated with interior design; functional spaces; different facilities and treatment offer, all focused on a high level of service that gives the guest a memorable experience.

Create a strong and unique identity

In order to set their hotel apart from the others owners need to focus on three corner-stones:
• Service is critical for a satisfied returning guest. Exceptional and personable service provides the guests with unique and memorable experience. Without good service no amount of money spent on the building will encourage a guest to return to a hotel.
• Design closely follows service. From cleaver architecture and space planning which ensures smooth operation of the hotel, through to interior design which should be  comfortable, restful, different and memorable; In the world of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and the general rise of social media, interior design has become even more critical and we've never had so many fans and critics. Outstanding approach to design encourages the former and discourages the latter;
• Technology is becoming an essential part of hospitality service. We work from home, hotel room, lobby, bar, restaurant, on the go. The world has become our office; we increasingly socialise through our phones, our tablets and laptops.  These devises have become almost as essential as having food and drink, sadly. Time is becoming more precious and guests expect faster and smoother service in terms of check-in and check-out. Intelligent rooms and buildings provide guests with all necessary comforts, they also assist in smoother operations of the hotel, and monitor energy saving for example. 
Creating a unique experience is a sure way of ensuring your hotel guests return and recommend you to the world at record speed, through powerful social media platforms.

In our projects we aim to create unique hotels deeply rooted in their locality. By creating a memorable destination, we encourage the visitor to return to that hotel when next visiting the location.

Atellior's project Carlyle Penthouse featured in Büro 24/7


Carlyle Penthouse at Chelsea Creek featured in Büro 24/7

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Our vision for Carlyle Penthouse at Lockside House was to create a unique interior that reflects both the elegant architecture and the water-features of Chelsea Creek. For inspiration we looked to the River Thames and the meticulously designed waterways and landscape surrounding Lockside House, in order to bring soft, shimmering colours and textures  into this spectacular penthouse. The unique vicinity of the Kings Road with it’s amazing shops, bars and restaurants inspired us to create a stunning West London home, that combines European chic with timeless British elegance.

Chelsea Harbour and the furniture and lighting hub of Fulham Road provided us with plenty of quintessential British design inspiration. We worked meticulously with local, London based artisans in order to create a bespoke collection of furniture and lighting. We took great care to procure the artwork and the leading art consultancy we worked with, helped us create an immaculate collection of contemporary paintings, artistic photography and historic prints, richly layering and complimenting the overall interior design scheme. A selection of large paintings were commissioned especially for this penthouse reflecting the exceptional standard that St George achieved at this Chelsea Creek development.

At the heart of our design was the aim to create a unique home that is both welcoming and stylish but above all provides life’s necessities, comforts and luxuries. Alongside spectacular interiors we gave special attention to the generous terraces, which provide additional entertainment and relaxation space, connecting this unique penthouse with meticulous architecture and landscape of Chelsea Creek.



Interview with Una Barac in Sleeper Magazine Issue 77

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Una Barac describes her fantasy hotel in Norway in Sleeper Magazine Issue 77

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Where Are you?

The Lofoten Islands, off the northwest coast of Norway. It’s late September and we’re there to enjoy the breathtaking scenery by day and Northern Lights by night… weather permitting.

How did you get there?

We sailed into port in a J/112E – the latest E-series sport cruising yacht from J/Boats.

Who is there to greet you on arrival?

Ian Schrager. He’s there to host a dinner party that we will attend later that evening.

And who’s at the concierge desk?

The concierge from Rosewood Beijing. I’m usually an independent traveller and don’t rely hugely on concierge, but in Beijing, I struggled with the language barrier and they were wonderfully helpful.

Who are you sharing your room with?

My partner; he is my best travel companion.

Is there anything you would like waiting for you in your room?

Upon arrival, we are refreshed with chilled bottles of still glacier water, bottled locally at its source. I love water and drink three litres every day.

Describe the hotel, your room and the view...

It is a boutique hotel with just 25 guestrooms, their curvilinear, asymmetric concrete forms are clad in timber and hide amongst the towering pine trees. The property is nestled in the landscape, perfectly at one with its surroundings. We breathe in the calming scent of pine needles. A gravelled path meanders to the entrance, and as we reach the portecochère, friendly staff in colourful Scandinavian jumpers greet us with a smile. The small reception pod is carved from local Lovgavlen marble, and we are checked-in on an iPad by the open fire. Furniture is a mix of Norwegian contemporary design and Danish classics, all upholstered with locally sourced pure lamb’s wool fabrics. Lighting is an eclectic mix of iconic pieces by Poul Henningsen and Louis Poulsen, complemented by new additions from Frandsen, while walls are adorned with contemporary works by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard and photography by Torbjorn Rodland.

Who designed it?

Zaha Hadid was the architect and the interiors are the work of Joseph Dirand. Hadid was an inspiration throughout my architectural studies, while Dirand’s work is timeless and so respectful of the local context; I imagine he would bring warmth and elegance in a pared-back Scandinavian manner.

What’s the restaurant and bar like?

Concrete walls and stripped-down timber floors draw inspiration from the Scandinavian aesthetic. Dirand’s choice of furniture and lighting bring oodles of style and comfort. The space he has created is classic, yet modern; glamorous, yet understated. The sound of the ice inside cocktail shakers is heard over the soft sounds of Sigur Rós – my favourite Icelandic band.

Who are you dining with this evening?

My partner, who makes us all laugh with his dry Yorkshire wit; Ian Schrager, hosting the event and sharing his thoughts on the hospitality industry; Robbie Bargh of Gorgeous Group, spreading wisdom on F&B; Mies van der Rohe, teaching us how to create iconic spaces; and Karl Lagerfeld, to give us a few style tips.

Who’s manning the stoves?

Tom Sellers, who recently won a Michelin star for Restaurant Story in Southwark. His cooking is a work of art.

And what’s on the menu?

We’ll start with series of amuse-bouche; they are amazing delights based on unassuming traditional home recipes such as bread and dripping. He presents this in the style of a beef-fat candle, with freshly baked warm bread. His courses of sea and land continue with crispy cod skin, scallops with tomato raisins and caviar, finished with a venison quartet. I’m not a fan of desert so we opt for a cheese board, while petit fours are replaced with Japanese mochi rice balls.

Would you like something to drink with that?

Perfectly chilled Gavi di Gavi, specially selected by the Balls Brothers’ sommelier.

What’s in the mini-bar for a nightcap?

Hendrick’s Gin with Fever-Tree tonic, lashings of cucumber and a twist of coarsely ground black pepper.

Una Barac's thought leadership on Business Hotels in Impression Magazine No3


Article about The Perfect Hotel February 2018, Issue No3 Impression Magazine

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Impression Magazine wanted to hear from businesspersons and designers about their thoughts on the perfect hotel, how and why perceptions of perfection vary depending on the hotel's guest profile. Una Barac, the Executive Director of Atellior assisted in the article with her impressions.


“Comfort is key in the design of business hotels. Business guests often have gruelling travel and meeting schedules, giving them very little time to relax and recuperate. On top of that they are far from home and often travelling alone. Aim to provide business guests with a good night’s rest in a really comfortable bed – along with a great shower, as they often don’t have the time for a long bath, welcoming public areas with good F&B provision and space to work, exercise and relax.” - Una Barac, Founder and Executive Director, Atellior


REXPO Best New Hotel Award 2017

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MGallery by Sofitel Sarajevo, with interiors designed by Atellior, wins Best New Hotel Award at REXPO.

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REXPO 2017 - The International Fair of Investment Projects, which was held for two days, 30 November - 1 December 2017, at the City Plaza Centre in Zagreb, once again hosted the investors, developers, contractors, designers, architects, banks, investment funds, hoteliers, representatives of ministries, countries and cities, media and the other stakeholders interested in the development of public and private investment projects. 

UK was a partner country confirming that British investors see REXPO as a platform which will enable them to get information about the investment opportunities in Croatia.                

The focus of REXPO Forum was on the potentials and projects of luxury tourism developments in the Alps – Adriatic region and the trends in hospitality projects. Ante Marić, Managing Director at Atellior was a speaker on the panel Regional Hotel Developments; The Glimpse of the Newest and the Hottest moderated by Sebastian Krueger from PKF hotelexperts together with Nikola Avram from MK Hotels Branko Baica from Project Nikola Zablace and Ronald Korotaj.           

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The fair was closed with the REXPO Best New Hotel Award 2017. This year award went to Tarčin Forest Resort & Spa MGallery by Sofitel Sarajevo, which was chosen as the best new hotel in the Alps Adriatic region among 10 shortlisted hotels. The Award was presented to Ante Marić by the President of the Hoteliers Association of the Croatian Chamber of Economy and President of the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality, Mr Ronald Korotaj.

Exhibition Opening: Illustrations That Tell Stories

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Atellior sponsors an exhibition: Illustrations That Tell Stories

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The opening of the exhibition "Illustrations That Tell Stories" took place on 28th September 2017 at the Oris House of Architecture in Zagreb. The exhibition was organized by Atellior with the support of the Büro 24/7 portal. The selector and the curator of the exhibition was Lana Petrak, architect at Atellior.

Visitors had the opportunity to take a look at the works created as a result of the Snapshot series of interviews held by Lana and published from April to August 2017 at the Büro 24/7 portal.                       

The exhibition consists of 50 illustrations that were part of the Snapshot interviews with 10 up-and-coming artists from Croatia and Serbia. The exhibition provides a brief insight and a glimpse into the artist’s character.              

The closing of the exhibition on Tuesday, 10 October 2017, will include a charity auction of the exhibited illustrations. All funds will be donated to Pragma, association that works on improving social and health care conditions of the socially deprived individuals in the city of Zagreb/Croatia.

Atellior Sponsors an Exhibition: Illustrations That Tell Stories


Atellior sponsors an exhibition: Illustrations That Tell Stories

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Oris House of Architecture is pleased to announce the opening of exhibition Illustrations on Thursday, 28 September at 7 pm, sponsored by Atellior, international architecture and interior design practice. The works on display are a result of a series of interviews called Snapshot interviews that were conducted from April to August 2017 in collaboration with the site Büro 24/7. The exhibition will be open to the public until Tuesday, 10 October.

The closing event will include a charity auction of the exhibited illustrations. All funds will be donated to Pragma, association that works on improving social and health care conditions of the socially deprived.

The exhibition consists of 50 illustrations that were made for the series Snapshot interviews conducted with 10 young authors from Croatia and Serbia. The word snapshot signifies a brief insight and information that enables us to have a glimpse into someone's character.

The concept was founded on all participating authors responding to five identical questions through their primary medium of expression – illustration. Instead of written answers, they drew stories about themselves. Different in format and techniques, these works give a unique introspective with which they reveal the intimate world of the artists’ and reveal things that are easier to draw than to write down. With this overview and with the accompanying exhibition, we get to learn even more than we were meant to.

This exhibition tells the stories of foolishness and love of the following illustrators: Davor Gromilović, Klasja Habjan, Tea Jurišić, OKO, Klara Rusan, Killa slova, Manuel Šumberac, Stipan Tadić, Hana Tintor i Dominik Vuković.

The author of the interview concept and the exhibition is Lana Petrak, architect and a member of Atellior team.

Atellior featured in Impression Magazine

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Inspiring Hospitality Interior Design No. 2

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Impression Magazine wanted to hear from designers about their thoughts on how the architecture and design community can create more value for their clients, therefore they held the interview with Una Barac, the Executive Director of Atellior.

Global travel has evolved incredibly fast over the last decade. The bar has been raised on good design and this is now expected as the norm from all hotels. But savy travellers and hotel users want more from the amenities offered.




Every segment of hospitality has to flow through and be intertwined with great atmosphere. There are some basics that every hotel owner, operator and designer needs to achieve. From a good shower and a comfortable night's sleep in even the most limited service hotels; through to amazing food and beverage, professional conferencing and enjoyable and relaxing wellbeing facilities in the full-service hotels. Some designers can go overboard with seeking to make grand design statements and this is where it can all go terribly wrong for the hotels. A good hospitality architect and interior designer knows that ergonomics and guest comfort must be at the forefront of every design. Basic as it may sound, form has to follow function.

Hospitality design has seen a massive shift in the approach to public area space planning over the last five or so years. Open plan lobbies have become the focal point of all successful hotels. Lobbies are now completely open and integrated with the bar reception areas, have become places to meet, be it for work or pleasure.

From early morning coffee and breakfast meetings, to working lunches afternoon tea, all the way through to dinner and cocktails; hotel lobbies are the heart of a good hotel, attracting their guests to stay, as well as attracting the passing trade to come in and use the facilities.

A clear brief is the most important starting point of every good design, be it hospitality or any other sector. Some clients like to prepare a clear brief, whilst others prefer to develop it together with the designer. Both approaches will lead to success as long as the basic list of facilities, are laid out and agreed at the outset. Moving goalposts are the main obstruction to any project. Hence why it is imperative for the clients to know what they want from the outset, or work with their team of professional consultants to define those requirements as soon as possible.

Space International Hotel Design


5 Minutes with Una Barac

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Tell me about your role at Artelior?

I’m the Founder and Executive Director of Atellior. I’m lucky as my role is very creative, which I love. I’m very hands-on with all our projects. I work closely with the clients to define the project brief and ensure their requirements are met. I work very closely with my team to make sure that the initial vision and concept is translated into the overall design, right through to the finest of details.

What projects are you currently working on?

Four Seasons resort in Hvar, Croatia. Sales & Marketing Suite at historic Trent Park. Refurbishment of Park Plaza County Hall in London. New restaurant at Art’otel Cologne. Refurbishment of Park Plaza Hotels in Utrecht and Eindhoven, Netherlands. Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Split, Croatia and Vilnius, Lithuania. Swissotel and Sofitel M Gallery in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. New Park Plaza Hotel in Pula, Croatia.

How important is the journey when it comes to designing a new hotel?

Very important. Every project is a journey that begins with understanding the client and the end user. Our success is measured by the satisfaction of the people who use the spaces that we create. Our next step is to gain understanding of the site context and root the project in its locality. We do this by looking at the historical, cultural and present day context of the building and area and weave those influences through the narrative of our design. The journey from concept design through to delivery is a really enjoyable process and unique every time; every site is different and every project comes with its own challenges.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Setting up Atellior, my own business, after more than two decades of working for large commercial practices. My past experience has been invaluable, but I felt the time was right to apply a more bespoke approach to design. Creating my own brand and being able to offer a more personal service to my clients is incredibly rewarding.

Have you noticed any particular trends in hotel design?

Hotels are much more lifestyle focused now, more holistic with entertainment and a distinctive R’n’R environment. The design should attract regular and one-off clients who see the space as a sanctuary where they can escape from life’s stresses; a soothing bolthole. That’s really important. Hoteliers are making a conscious effort to keep their guest in the hotel in this way and attract passing trade. This is the case for both branded and unbranded properties.

How important are public spaces in hotels?

Incredibly important as they’re effectively becoming hubs for people to meet, work, do business, catch up, relax and enjoy good food and drink. As the result of this, bars and restaurants are becoming an integral part of the reception lobby. There are less and less physical partitions between those spaces, as we see them blend seamlessly between each other.

Number of meetings attended each week?

Between 10-12. I used to have more meetings when I worked in large corporate practices, but now my focus is a lot more on design and the creative process itself. I meet with clients to present the designs we produce. And I hold a lot of design meetings with the team to ensure successful design development. I have a great network of support within our studio, so I can focus more on the design and cut down the management meetings to one a week.

What is your favourite city?

London, without a shadow of a doubt. The more I travel, the wider my horizons become. But the fonder I become of London, it makes me realise how diverse and dynamic a city I live in. I love travelling though and am on a plane at least couple of times a fortnight, if not every week.

What is your favourite hotel?

That’s a tough one! I’d have to say: Conservatorium Amsterdam for a city hotel. It really strikes the balance between cool, relaxed, class and sophistication. The Chedi Andermatt for its understated luxury and cosiness that a ski resort requires. Ushuaia Ibiza for the ultimate Mediterranean party resort and phenomenal use of F&B and entertainment.

Atellior's project Park Plaza Nuremberg featured in Büro 24/7


Hotel Park Plaza Nuremberg featured in Büro 24/7

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This stunning, contemporary designed 177 bed hotel brings a fresh energy to the vibrant Bavarian city. Located opposite the 19th Century central railway station in the former home of the Bavarian-American Hotel, the design has been influenced by the city’s rich cultural and medieval history. 

The design takes inspiration from the Renaissance Nuremberg artist and theorist Albrecht Dürer, and Martin Behaim, a German mariner and astronomer. Modern and metallic tones of pink gold and copper with purple and grey hues and shimmering textures are combined with geometric shapes, light features, ceilings, furniture, artwork and sculptures to create a relaxed yet luxurious atmosphere, which respects the history of the 1930’s building.  

Artwork and sculptures, including interpretations of Dürer’s Rhino and Behaim’s ‘Erdapfel’ globe, pay tribute to the city’s cultural legends, bringing a contemporary sophistication to Bavaria’s latest city hotspot.  

All bedrooms feature ultra-comfortable Park Plaza beds, a modern, contemporary design feel with integrated screen TV’s, large work desks, in-room entertainment systems and mood lighting. 

The hotel also features a 24-hour fitness centre and seven versatile meeting rooms, many of which benefit from natural daylight and have been designed to accommodate up to 70 delegates, providing them with state-of-the art video conferencing and on-site dining facilities. The hotel’s destination-led restaurant, BA Beef Club has a club-like ambience, whilst its Bavarian American Bar provides a stunning environment to be enjoyed by guests and locals alike.


Atellior featured in Mix Interiors Magazine

Atellior featured in Mix Interiors Magazine

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Una Barac is an award-winning architect and founder of Atellior – an architecture and interior design studio with offices in both London and Croatia, specialising in the hospitality and residential sectors. Current Artelior projects include Trent Park London for Berkeley Homes, Park Plaza County Hall London, Art’otel Berlin and Cologne and Four Seasons Hvar in Croatia – to name a few. Here are the items Una would wish for if stranded on our desert island.


I absolutely love reading so top of my list would be my Kindle, which would be full of books that I haven’t read or ones that I want to re-read. Sadly, at the moment I don’t have enough time to read, so this could be the perfect opportunity to catch up. Books would include a mix of classics like Jane Austin, for the eternal romantic in me. I’d include a few spiritual authors like Kahlil Gibran and the Dalai Lama, along with The Little Prince and The Book Thief, as they are my favourites – plus lots of action-packed thrillers by Ian Rankin and Dan Brown.

Le Creuset pots

I really enjoy cooking, as it’s a great way to express creativity. To enjoy a delicious meal as a reward at the end is such a wonderful bonus. I hope to find lots of interesting herbs and vegetables to cook alongside grilled fish… Would I have to catch them? I’d also be hoping for some amazing birds to lay nice eggs. And I’m not planning on eating meat – catching and preparing fish would be hard enough!

A boat with a skipper

So I can leave when I wish! I’ve always been fiercely independent and I like being in control of my destiny. A boat would also be good for exploring. I love travel as I find it an incredible way of learning and expanding horizons.

A Missoni bikini

Being an eternal optimist I’d hope that another person would already be on the island, so covering my modesty would be important! I love catching the late afternoon sun. I grew up spending my summers at the Adriatic Coast – so I associate sea and sunbathing with some of my happiest early memories.

Moleskine sketch book

Being an architect, I love sketching and find it an essential way to express my thoughts and ideas. If I don’t have my sketch book I’m waving my hands in the air whilst speaking, or pulling a pen out and drawing on napkins. A note book is also good for penning down thoughts and reflecting. And I love writing lists as it keeps me focused and organised. Ticking things off a list is hugely satisfying and gives me a great sense of achievement.

My phone

Whilst there won’t be any network or electricity to charge it, I’m working on the assumption I could charge it on my boat. I’m a people’s person and I’d miss talking to my friends and family. I’d also miss working, as I can’t switch off for long. My phone has all my photos and music on it. A phone would also be fun to take photos with. And practical, as it has a light!

A radio transmitter

As mentioned earlier I love communicating with people. Some solitude is great for reflection and personal growth and development – but interaction with people is equally important for the same reasons. I’d love a radio transmitter (solar powered, obviously) so it could also be used to call for help. My practical side always kicks in!