Interview with Krisztina Fülöp, certified architect and designer, interior designer, lead designer of KOMP DESIGN Studio



In a hotel, guests want to feel at home almost as much as they want the experience of being “elsewhere” to be fulfilled. Is it necessary or can these two needs be synthesized by your profession?

In my opinion, one of the main characteristics of good interior design is that it can harmonize different needs in a completely unnoticeable way. We have an amazingly rich toolkit for all of this. In the case of a hotel, the wow factor is really paramount, the novelty of the experience is important. It is definitely expected that it is different from home. But this is not equally true for all user spaces. Primarily, the communal spaces are the ones that are extravagant, there the emphasis is on gaining experience. In the rooms where the guests retreat, where they rest, we fine-tuned the “surprises”, homeliness is more important.

Interior design is both a sight and an experience, which mostly depends on the elaboration of details. To what extent does a hotel require a different vision in this regard? After all, the space is huge, so there are many details to pay attention to and to see.

Gaining experience is a controlled thing, it takes place in space and time. What the guest sees when entering, where we want to drive, what stimuli they receive in the restaurant and what in the cafe area, for example, have been thought out. These accents placed in spaces are not exclusively visual elements. One large-scale, dominant element gives the rain impulse, and as we move through the space, smaller-sized objects also play a role. As soon as you approach things within arm’s reach or the guest takes a seat, the tactile senses also come to the fore: they are surrounded by materials with different tactile properties. The ubiquitous live and dried plants and flowers are also included in the fragrances. The space offers a multi-sensory experience.

Uniqueness, associate arts


The theme of the Mercure Debrecen is the popular carnival of flowers, which is the touristic symbol of the city. Within the given theme, which encompasses a very rich world of colors and shapes, what were the focal points?

Fine art. I really like Gabriella Nagy’s works, her humor added a lot. We worked not only with images depicting flowers, but also with other iconic elements of the geographical location, Hortobágy. We have used several of his works enlarged on their details or the whole image. For example, the lambs standing on each other’s backs in the cafe, or the figures doing yoga in the desert on the road. The latter is also the back wall of the atrium, so there is a subtle twist in our visual world that when we are outside and the interior provides the horizon, we see an external location. But she also painted new pictures specifically for this project, in line with our concept, which we used in the rooms. The flower arrangement scattered on the ceiling of the upper floor corridors was specially made for this purpose.

Unique ceramics. Black ceramic objects made by Edina Andrási are very dear to me. These small vases and bowls on the tables in the restaurant and in the lobby are small series objects designed specifically for this interior and made by the artist.

Signaling. Control boards designed by graphic designer Zoltán Réczey: inscriptions and pictograms were also designed according to the imagined overall image. In the corridors upstairs, the large colored level indicator numbers that light up are independent units.

Carnival atmosphere and the musicality of the space


The architectural fluid contour already has such a game, we followed this rhythm. I understand the previous sentence literally, as we outlined the interior space on both the floor and the ceiling. However, this contour does not mean a separation, but quite the opposite: it blurs and eliminates the sharp border. On the floor, the exterior cladding is aligned with the atrium, and a reflective surface has been placed on the ceiling, thereby shifting the boundary between outside and inside on both surfaces. This is completely in line with the original architectural intention, which drew the pulsating, winding glass facade. The large units created in this way were further broken down with interior design elements of different scales, creating very impulsive, multi-colored spatial situations.




Carnival is a huge, communal celebration. There, anyone and everyone can step into the spotlight by becoming a performer. But the audience is not heterogeneous either.

Light and shadow


With lighting, we emphasize the space, direct attention, highlight things. We shade all of this with the shadow, but we can also enrich it with interesting cast shadows. The goal was specifically to create a dramatic, contrasting light-shadow effect. I wanted to evoke a theatrical experience. This is what the carnival is: a huge, self-effacing, happy performance, play.


What was the biggest challenge during the project?


The carnival is a very dynamic, colorful, sensual whirlwind. Full of exaggerations. There are smaller units, followed by these very unique, extroverted marchers who definitely want to be different. Summoning this already requires some transcription, since what we visualize from it becomes static, it cannot pass before us, so that another one follows. As with everything, moderation is the key. The limit is elsewhere, but you can’t pack in any number of large, spectacular elements, because it causes the opposite effect, the result can become boring. I paid the greatest attention to keeping the spectacular elements under control, while at the same time realizing the richness of the carnival. The pulsation of carnivals is usually based on music. Here, the biggest task was to be able to display this without music.