Blue Moon Hotel
RIBA European Award in 2008
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Client: Groningen Gemeente
Date: 2001 Completion
Total Area: 200m2
FOA Partner in charge: Alejandro Zaera-Polo
Project Architect: Lluis Viu Rebes
Design team: Marco Guarnieri, Xavier Ortiz
Local Architect: Artes, Groningen, Holland
This project is part of the Blue Moon project, a masterplan by Toyo Ito aimed to intensify the connection between Groningen City and its new extension.
The brief required the 5x5m site in the Schuitenwerksquartier area – historically characterized by boat traffic, sluices, docks and pensions facilities for travelers and merchandisers arriving in the city – to be developed for residential use. Given this the site’s history, our proposal was to create facilities for travelers, the temporary inhabitants of Groningen, traders, tourists or drifters.
The four storey tower, planned as an aparthotel, is clad in a repetitive pattern of aluminum openable panels to introduce a nomadic character to the tectonic system. Like a tent or a sleeping bag, the façade allows the inhabitants to reconfigure their dens similar to the zipping and unzipping of a sleeping bag to suit their needs.
Each floor is able to frame its views of the outside and be transformed from total enclosure to total openness simply by individual decisions made by each inhabitant regarding their screening system.