Designer versus artist

Designer versus artist

In my last blog I wrote about my recent trip to Copenhagen. It really is quite a fascinating city filled with lots of eccentric people. 

The hotel where we stayed would be interesting enough on its own to be the subject of my next few blog posts. It was the Hotel FOX located in the city center and, very interestingly, the schemes were not created by a professional interior designer, but by a bunch of artists.

The Heavenly Place room when its “monster” bedcover was new (now it is pitch-black after years of use)

So while the Hotel FOX is colorful and inspiring, it is also totally impractical! An artist’s dream and a housekeeper’s nightmare! In addition, its guests need to be very open-minded to enjoy these vibrant, highly imaginative rooms that have no comfort at all.

Nonetheless, it is a rather charming little hotel with winding narrow corridors, a very private infrastructure and difficult-to-read signage — my room was in the third corridor I tried. There is a lovely and intimate outdoor rooftop terrace located between the high houses adjacent to the hotel (so all the other people can join in your lively party). The lobby has a stylishly cool vibe with white flooring, a glass roof and very low sofa loungers. This means that guests either lay around, almost fully reclined, or sit in a more distinguished but uncomfortable fashion on the edge of the seat.

My wife Corinna and me “reclining” in the lobby

The pity is that the hotel is not a museum (as it should be), so the primarily young guests don’t treat it with care and drill holes into the rubber foam of the sofas, while the cleaning staff uses chlorine-based cleansers that leave a lot of bleach stains on the carpet — they can be found throughout the property, and the money is obviously not there to renovate it and keep the original look.

It is somewhat difficult to form a critical judgment about this hotel; it is cultural, it is hip, the design has not become outdated — since there is no cohesive style — and somehow the hotel manages to bring in overnight guests plus get them coffee in the morning and beer in the evening. 

But it certainly is not a “normal” hotel. Whereas artists can be completely free to do whatever they personally choose, a designer cannot! Design and architecture must fulfill an intended purpose.

So, yes, this hotel is fun, hip and entertaining to see — but it is not designed.