History of The Hotel

Hotel Hoffmann is set in a historic landmark designed by the renowned architect Josef Hoffmann.

The house lies on the border of the old town, on the main road to the vast Poldi Steelworks, a complex established in 1889 by Karl Wittgenstein and named after his wife Leopoldine (Poldi). The company was in need of high-standard accommodation for employees visiting from Vienna, and especially for prospective clients. At that point Josef Hoffmann came on the scene and was assigned with designing what is now called Poldihaus Kladno or simply Guest House.

We were fortunate enough to acquire this marvelous piece of art and put all our efforts to its reconstruction, so that the art deco beauty and feel of this monument could be revealed once again. Poldihaus was finely renovated by the talented painter and architect Orest Skop in 1999. Renovation was performed in line with the original designs; all the fabrics and many interior design elements were ordered directly from Vienna. Spacious lobby and hallways remained true to the original design, with its black and white checkered tile floor, decorative metal railing, openwork wooden doors and windows and mural designs.

Now the building serves as an art deco hotel. At the same time, it offers year round exhibition of Hoffmann’s life and work and is open to public. Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) was one of the most important architects and designers of the first half of the 20th century. In 1903 he established, with his fellow designers Koloman Moser and Fritz Waerndorfer, the Wiener Werkstätte workshops that would set the trends in applied arts in central Europe for almost three decades.

Hoffmann’s style was sober and abstract and it was limited increasingly to functional structures and domestic products. In 1906, Hoffmann built his first great work on the outskirts of Vienna, the Sanatorium Purkersdorf. Compared to the Moser House, with its rusticated vernacular roof, this was a great advancement towards abstraction and a move away from traditional Arts and Crafts and historicism. This project served as a major precedent and inspiration for the modern architecture that would develop in the first half of the 20th century, for instance the early work of Le Corbusier. It had a clarity, simplicity, and logic that foretold of a Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity).

Through contacts with Adolphe Stoclet, who sat on the supervisory board of the Austro-Belgischen Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, he was commissioned to build the Palais Stoclet in Brussels from 1905 to 1911 for this wealthy banker and railway financier. This masterpiece of Jugendstil, was an example of Gesamtkunstwerk, replete with murals in the dining room by Gustav Klimt and four copper figures on the tower by Franz Metzner.