Networked hospitality isn’t just Airbnb: a Dutch hotel offers a fresh experience

To give our audience eyes and ears into the live judging sessions that took place at Frame Awards 2020, we're sharing coverage of the insightful jury conversations that decided the winning projects. Below, we celebrate the Hotel of the Year: Sweets Hotel by Space & Matter, Seven New Things and Grayfield – which is remaining open for self-supporting stays during the current COVID-19 crisis. Find the full collection of reports in our upcoming May/June 2020 issue, Frame 134.

Amsterdam – Was there any other option than to announce the inventors of this new type of hospitality as the recipients of Hotel of the Year? No. The jury was very easily and eagerly swayed to declare Sweets Hotel the obvious winner.

Transforming 28 different bridge houses built along Amsterdam’s waterways between 1673 and 2009 into hotel suites, Sweets offers a unique way to discover the city and its maritime industrial heritage up close and personally. As designer, art director and Amsterdam local Marcel Wanders put it: ‘I live in this city, and this has been waiting to happen. The timing had to be right to finally find the perfect opportunity for these things. Without Airbnb-type ideas, it would never have happened. It tells a story about reuse and recycling. It’s simple, direct and intuitive. It doesn’t scream design, and it’s really Dutch in its own way.’

A smart form of reuse and a new type of networked hospitality: just two of the reasons the names behind Sweets Hotel took home first prize in their category.

The novel idea of ‘taking a hotel to pieces and scattering them around’ (Howard Sullivan, YourStudio) is what Space Copenhagen’s Peter Bundgaard Rützou found most disruptive: ‘It leaves all the intermediate spaces as the amenities, which in this case is the whole of Amsterdam. There is something enormously generous embedded into that thinking.’

Caroline Cundall of the InterContinental Hotels Group loved the fact that each hotel room at Sweets is different. ‘Every time you come to Amsterdam, you’d almost want to stay in a different one and tick them all off. That to me is charming in itself.’ And isn’t that what a successful hotel should do – charm you into staying there and coming back, time and again? And in the case of Sweets, each time offers a distinct slice of Amsterdam.

spaceandmatter.nl

sevennewthings.com

grayfield.nl

Frame Awards 2020's Hospitality category was proudly sponsored by Orgatec. The People's Choice award went to TWA Hotel by Stonehill Taylor.

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