One-Person Hotel

TEAM: Sara Camponez, Hugo Sobrosa – FAUP

A hotel is more a setting than an actual building.

That key to your room… not really your key now, is it? As you open the door you notice little things that were put in place to insinuate nothing has been touched yet, like the pristine bed sheets or the unopened bag of soap. There’s a silent mise- en-scène that you are happy to ignore so as to fully experience this exciting new room (much like someone going to the theatre). The unpleasant truth, as we all know, is that lots of people have been there before.

The hotel is basically staging the cosy spaces you hope to spend your night at. Extra services may be provided such as breakfast, dry-cleaning or gym; anything that will make you feel at home (better than home!). Bottom line is: the fancier the hotel, the bigger the ILLUSION. Meanwhile, at the backstage, a crew of people is making sure you don’t see all the mess.

Indeed, sleeping in a hotel is never a lonesome experience, whether you’re referring to the HOTEL’S STAFF or the other CLIENTS. You might not see them, but you hear them vaguely…

This ONE-PERSON HOTEL experience is an INSTALLATION planned to remind what makes a simple (ever so forgotten) hotel.

We took the main elements that, when all put together, remind us of a hotel: the hotel sign, the lobby, the elevator, the corridor and the room (only ONE room). Then, we created a layout for applying those elements to virtually any building in the world although, in this case, we used Mies Van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive to test our installation. The idea is to contaminate part of a building with those devices (preferably two floors) and create a setting for a hotel, without compromising whichever other activities the building may shelter (such as offices, apartments, shops, etc).

We’ll need a couple of ACTORS to guide the client through this installation: a concierge that will book the room and somebody who will actually clean it after each client leaves the installation, so that it will be ready to be used by the next visitor. ONE ROOM, ONE CLIENT at a time.

Once inside, the client can circulate normally. He might CROSS SOMEBODY in the elevator or HEAR PEOPLE talking in the upper floors. But this will not shatter the illusion that he’s in a packed-full regular hotel. In fact, it will probably enforce it, because THE BUILDING WILL TRULY BE CROWDED.

Nothing will be hidden; we’ll simply use the SETTING to amplify the illusion. A leaflet will be on display in the bedroom and – as leaflets in art galleries often do – it will contain all the information concerning this installation, its purpose and the background concept.

By making the ONE-PERSON HOTEL applicable to different buildings, we were able to detach the morphology from the meaning and enhance the feelings hotels leave in all of us.

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