Taking Refuge in the Hotel Josef in Prague, Czech Republic
Glass walls, shiny chrome and an open-plan scheme lend Josef a design-heavy aura different from anywhere else in Prague. They've made the most of every inch, effecting the architectural equivalent of a Wonderbra. The impression of openness is achieved by housing the pale-limestone bathroom in a glass box—smart thinking. Philippe Starck taps visible on the sink also suggest the designers had an exhibitionist streak. A chic white-on-white lobby,with a glowing glass-fronted bar and reception desk welcomes you into the seemingly sprawling hotel, and instantly instills calm. This uncluttered space designed by Eva Jiřičná, near the old Jewish Quarter, or Josefov, is a tranquil refuge in magnificent Prague.