The Slaak Rotterdam
a Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott
Once home to the influential Dutch newspaper Het Vrije Volk (The Free People), is turned to this new design boutique hotel by the Dutch interior designer HDVL Design makers. From 1952 till 1976 that the newspaper was closed, the building served as a hub to the leftist movement in the country. Afterwards, it started deteriorating to the point that was abandoned, Then, it was commissioned to HDVL to transform it to a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, one of the Marriott boutique hotel branches.
The concept was inspired by the rich history of the building associated with the newsroom. The challenge, however, was to respect the anti-capitalism nature of the movement inspired right from this building while designing a quite luxury hotel. The designers did this by creating a thoughtful balance between the past history and the future wishes. What connected both were the freedom and hopeful spirit and authenticity of 1950’; the post war era that promised a bright future ignited by technology development. The interior, therefore, celebrates colors and patterns. Shiny warm metal finishes invite guests and locals to come in and interact in the revived hub for future thoughts. Bar is the central feature, visible from outside, with seats in three different levels to connect inside and outside.
There is no traditional lobby-restaurant layout. Guests are attending a workshop in-between reception, bar and show kitchen. Everywhere that you sit, you have a full view of what is going on surrounding you, guests who check-in, locals who come in for a few drinks and dinners.
The guest room design is inspired by the art movement of the mid-century. A quirky residential style space that features handmade furniture. The desk is in the center to celebrate writing. It takes us to a journey back to a loft in mid-century, while providing all the advantages of now. Different corners for sleeping, writing and communicating and relaxing make a very diverse space in the same room; form follows function but in a new way. Materials are big part of the story; shiny and colorful vs. rough and grey. And lighting accentuates this contrast. The result is a room that guests would enjoy staying and be creative rather than turning on the TV the first moment they arrive.