For the site in Amsterdam you are to design a hotel or refuge. Notions of back-rooms and activities on the border of accepted norms are to be the focus of the design -- David Grandorge
The site lies at the back of the stock exchange and on the edge of the red light district. The parcel is 25m long and 5m wide, the short facade faces a small steet and the long facade a small alley.
Theatrical but tough
The unevenly exposed steel grid that holds up the asfalt will reflect light from passing taxis. The asfalt is pressed into the 25mm deep steel grid, excess material is removed by scraping. Your eyes can make out the grid of steel even though it is only partially visible behind the smudge of asfalt.
Occasionaly a performer in extravagant clothing and hight-heels pass behind the large window on the first floor. A quick glimpse of what goes on behind the unyielding facade.
The public areas of the hotel (bar, restaurant, and circulation) are treated as exteriors. A softer design would not be appropriate for the kind of party people this hotel is meant to attract. It also sets out to eliminate the strong contrast between tough urban culture and pictoresque architecture that prevails in the rest of Amsterdam.
There is no relief from the exteriority until you enter the hotel rooms. The materiality and design of the rooms offer a place to rest and relax.
My initial response was to create a very complex ciculation, working on the idea of a secret place. Eventually this idea was abandoned for a much simpler and tougher solution.
The shape of the parcel forces a linear layout and a tight packing