Friday, February 24, 2006

UnComfort Inn?

The second half of Daily Dose's coverage of the Hotel Puerta America in Madrid is now up. As I mentioned before when covering the hallways, it is readily apparent that "comfort" was not the primary concern of the designers in crafting the interiors of the rooms on their floors. Most of these rooms strike me as severe - and not because they eschew the traditional rules of hotel design, but because they all seem to be either so drastic in their design statements that they forgot the function of a hotel room or so simplistic that they don't represent anything new or exciting.

For example, who wants to feel disoriented inside their hotel room, as seems to be the case with Plasma Studio's experiments in triangular perspective on the 4th floor? And the blinding white of the 1st, 7th and 8th floors emit a clinical aura that would make me feel ill at ease. By contrast, the use of black in several of the other rooms seems to make the rooms unnecessarily dark. Sure that is great for sleeping, but who would want to hang out in a cave of a hotel room? Isn't it possible to be innovative without resorting to extreme contrast? Can't a designer use some color in a hotel room? (without using ALL of them like Victorio and Lucchino's 5th floor).

And maybe I am being nitpicky, but there are also several floors that appear overly simplistic to me, failing to be interesting or comfortable. For example, check out the 2nd, the 3rd and the 6th floors. All of them use black and white contrast. The 2nd and 6th are both the same sleek aesthetic that you see thousands of times and never appeals to me, and the 3rd looks like a converted shower room.

Of course that's all just my opinion. My favorite room was probably Isozaki's modern take on traditional Japanese style (pictured below). I liked the use of the different textures, particularly his interpretation of the paper screen covering the window. Although the overall room seemed dark to me (there is a bright red cabinet, not pictured), it seemed to make a nice balance between making a statement and still offering a warm, comfortable room.

The same might also be said for Gluckman's room, although I keep thinking the room would be plagued by a low buzz from the fancy lights.

You can see even more pictures of each and every floor at this site. Of course, nothing compares to actually staying in the room for yourself, so if anyone is passing through Madrid soon, check out a room and let me know what you think.

Via Daily Dose

Via elmundo.es

Via elmundo.es

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