PROJECT GENERAL INFORMATION
Name: Blue Moon Residential Hotel
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Area: 210 sqm
In the summer of 2001, the city of Groningen hosted the Blue Moon Festival which marked the beginning of the huge Europark development on the site of a huge former power station to the southeast of the city. The land on which this new district was to be built, together with several sites in the inner city, was the setting of a range of cultural events. Japanese architect Toyo Ito, director of the festival, invited four architects to join him in fleshing out the festival programme by Europark as well as a dual-action live/work building for the inner city. Theses buildings, of which Foreign Office’s Residential Hotel is one, are designed to illustrate the importance that the combined activities of home, work, leisure will have in the future, and the necessity of creating multipurpose environments that will cater for more than one activity.
The simple four storey, 5 by 5 m (16.5 by 16.5 ft) residential hotel constructed from galvanized steel invites inhabitants to play with the concepts of public and private. The ground floor houses a café and above are temporary apartments for ‘urban nomads; such as visiting musicians, professors and artists. Security and transparency are articulated through the front facade which faces on to a small square and is completely covered by a system of corrugated steel shutters. Appearing like a set of luggage lockers, this façade can be entirely shut or open to different degrees, according to the number of guests occupying the hotel and the inclinations for privacy.