What was once the footprint of a sprawling factory in a central German city is now home to a vibrant creative complex, and at the center is FREIgeist Göttingen Nordstadt. Here, industrial sleekness meets Mediterranean warmth through a perfectly balanced medley of black steel and cast-iron accents, colorful Turkish rugs, and creative art installations. Italian fare is the focus at the in-house dining outlets, and a timeless bar surprises guests with unique blasts from the past.
For nearly 120 years, the northern part of Göttingen, Germany, was known for its factory owned by Sartorius, a leading life science research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing company. But since the factory relocated to elsewhere in the city in 2017, the district has undergone significant renovation and recently made its debut as the bustling, contemporary Sartorius Quartier. At the center of the mixed-use, car-free district is FREIgeist Göttingen Nordstadt—the second Design Hotel in the city, following its downtown sister property, FREIgeist Göttingen Innenstadt. With architecture overseen by Bieling Architekten and interior design by Frank Kassner, Georg Rosentreter, and Lina Freund, the new Nordstadt location honors the area's industrial past while establishing a welcoming atmosphere imbued with Mediterranean warmth. FREIgeist Göttingen Nordstadt is, at its core, a contemporary gathering spot for locals and visitors, inspired by the neighborhood's past and simultaneously beckoning its future.
The five-story new build was constructed in harmony with its surroundings and features blended bricks on the façade and exposed concrete and oak inside. Industrial details include large lattice windows, black steel accents, corrugated metal siding, and old workbenches from the old factory that have been upcycled to create tables. These sleek features are softened by a warm color palette expressed in white linen curtains and original Turkish kilim rugs, which have also been repurposed as sofa and pillow covers. Specially commissioned graffiti complements the hotel's urban location, with unique wall and light installations adding additional layers of creativity. Beyond these one-of-a-kind artistic interventions, lighting fixtures and lamps by DCW Èditions Paris, Pulpo, Marset, and Foscarini are found throughout the property, as well as design furniture from Atmosphère d'ailleur, Raw Materials, and Gommaire.
Such complementary combinations continue to be seen in each of the 123 guest rooms and five suites. Darker details, including black glass backsplashes in showers and cast-iron vanities, extend the industrial vibe, while an abundance of natural materials bring a sense of warmness into each space. Oiled oak floors are found in every room along with headboards made of larch that has been burnt with the Japanese yakisiku method. Bespoke armchairs produced by Bielefelder Werkstätten are paired with wooden bedside tables and dressers by NTS Tischlerei, a local carpenter and long-time partner of FREigeist Hotels. Suites also feature original kilim carpets, just like those in the lobby, while all rooms are equipped with natural bath amenities by L:A Bruket. Moreover, all towels, duvets, and comforters are made from organic cotton.
At the ground-floor restaurant East of Italy, light Levantine cuisine is fused with Neapolitan-style classics to create an inspiring menu focused on regionally sourced and organic ingredients. Recipes for dishes like beetroot dip and cod served with a tomato-orange salsa have been around for centuries, just like the restored cement tiles from Italy adorning the front of the open kitchen. Adjacent to the restaurant is the bar Weights & Measures, which serves signature cocktails inspired by Mediterranean destinations. Here too a southern European influence is countered with an industrial spin: the ingredients for drinks are measured using old Sartorius scales. The concepts for both East of Italy and Weights & Measures were developed in collaboration with the Belfast-based design studio Drinksology, who also conceptualized the Herbarium Bar at FREIgeist Göttingen Innenstadt. Also on the ground floor of FREIgeist Göttingen Nordstadt is an outpost of the Italian delicatessen Viani, which offers coffee, a large selection of dried goods, and a fresh meat and cheese counter (also adorned with restored Italian tiles). Meanwhile, the FREIgeist Skybar on the sixth floor provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas. No matter the outlet, there is always the opportunity to dine and drink al fresco.
On the hotel's first floor is a 200-square-meter fitness and wellness area. Yoga and Pilates classes are offered in a dedicated studio, while a training room has state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, including a Peloton bike. There's also a Finnish sauna and oversized plush chairs for relaxation. Elsewhere are five seminar and conference rooms, each of which feature a terrace and original Thonet seating. The lobby also doubles as a work and gathering space, as well as a library. A chesterfield sofa in front of a fireplace creates a cozy place to settle in and peruse a selection of reading material: antique books are shelved alongside the latest tomes published by Steidl and Gestalten.
Gottingen is a historic city in the center of Germany's Lower Saxony region, largely known for its university. At least 14 Nobel Prize recipients have studied at the University of Gottingen—the main campus of which is only a 10-minute walk from FREIgeist Göttingen Nordstadt. Directly across from the hotel is the historic Satoriusturm, or Sartorious tower, which now houses a café focused on serving cuisine crafted from local ingredients and regional suppliers, as well as a wine cellar that hosts exclusive tastings and boasts an impressive list of by-the-glass offerings. The Sheddachhalle, an event space suitable for up to 800 people and designed by architect Charles de Picciotto, is also nearby. Gottingen's city center is only a 15-minute walk from the property, and the main train station is a six-minute drive.
Weender Landstraße 100