Last summer we escaped to Spain for two weeks and, although we mostly stayed at small hotels and hostels, we treated ourselves to one night at the, then, newly opened Hotel Silken Puerta America in Madrid. The building was designed by Jean Nouvel but each interior floor was conceptualized by one of 12 other designers. Our favorite part: upon check-in, Puerta America asks you on which designer's floor you would like to stay. We picked Zaha Hadid...
We chose Zaha Hadid for several reasons. She had recently become the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize—architecture's most prestigious award—and she has very little built work, most of which is heavily critisized. Her designs are polarizing and people love to hate her. So what better way to make our own decision than to spend a night in her world.
The scale and scope of the hotel room was a perfect representation of her designs and seemed to translate very well from the hotel's website to the actual space. Our favorite element was the room's bathroom. The single, white surface wraps around you, pushing and pulling up from the floor and off the walls to form the tub, counters and shelves. Its like a warm, white cave. We could definitely see this bathroom in our home and the best part is you could just hose the whole thing down.
The walls and ceilings—not that you can distinguish a difference—are made of thermoformed Corian which becomes seamless once installed. Every surace has a silky, smooth texture and creates a very luxurious feeling. It must also be pretty easy on housekeeping seeing as there is nowhere for dust to hide.
Hadid's "lobby" is a simple, ever-changing colored light fixture. She also integrated signage into the wall in order to maintain the continuous surfaces throughout. Instead of unsightly paper signs hanging from the doorknobs, buttons within the room light up hidden words on the door's exterior to alert hotel staff. Notice the need repairing button—we guess it gets used a lot in these conceptual spaces.
The hotel is like a modern architecture funhouse for adults and, overall, we were very impressed. We found our room to be very confortable and livable which was quite a surprise. Despite the severe look and monotone nature, the curves and tight intergration of every element made for a very cozy hotel escape.
We spent a good deal of time roaming the hallways of other floors, scoping out our choice for the next visit. Maybe Plasma Studio's floor... Head over to the website to pick your favorite floor.