Atelier Mel and Rockwell Group Deconstruct Hard Rock Motif

The Rockwell Group’s design for a new Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Madrid centers around La Movida Madrileña, the post-Franco countercultural movement born in the eighties amid Madrid’s punk rock underground scene. Working with custom fabricator Atelier Mel, Rockwell adapted the iconic Hard Rock guitar as the centerpiece of the large interior courtyard. The emblem is deconstructed, depicted as an anamorphic sculpture that captivates from any angle. Visitors view the piece from the reception desk – where it coalesces into a familiar guitar form – and from the rooms and roof terrace – where the neck, headstock, and outline of a guitar body transform and contort with shifting perspectives.

Functionally, the piece dominates the upper volume without blocking the natural light coming in. Instead of lighting the piece from the large vertical planes, likely adding shadow play, Atelier Mel opted to integrate subtle, dynamic lighting that makes the piece dance and adapts throughout the day to natural light and to life in the hotel.

The neck of the sculpture, with its unmoored frets and six strings of light, hangs vertically at the back of the courtyard. The characteristic curves of the guitar are realized from a canted, inclined plane, with more than 200 tubes hanging vertically to create the volume of the body. The intersection of the suspended luminous structure with each tube is unique, so the attachment pieces were parametrically designed and digitally manufactured. Light enters the tubes through a slot at the join, so they appear to glow. The tubes then fall freely under their own weight, creating the floating ribbon effect. Horizontal bracing cables cross the courtyard to prevent the assembly from oscillating.

O’Blaney Rinker couldn’t be more pleased to be partnered with Agency Custom, and the engineers and creatives at Atelier Mel who made this rock star project a reality. Agency Custom continues to bring the world’s most exceptional custom fabricators to meet the imaginations of our New York clientele.

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