What do you do when space is limited? You get creative and open your mind to new ways of envisioning design. With that mentality, brand strategy and interior design studio The Invisible Party designed the unique interior of Hotel Unplugged in Rotterdam, taking innovation to a whole new level.
The concept for Hotel Unplugged, which opened its doors in 2020, was created – from scratch – by The Invisible Party; one of Amsterdam’s leading boutique design studios. The building was already there, but it still needed a story. The goal was to present Unplugged as an extension of progressive Rotterdam. A place where the standards of the past are let go and innovation is central. The hotel places this focus on innovation to tap into a new group of travellers; the millennial who combines discovery with comfort and design. This group often leads busy, stressful lives and seeks out places where they can truly unplug. The Invisible Party was tasked with turning this emphasis on disconnecting into an interior design. The design studio began with a complete storytelling including tone of voice and then set up a complete branding, naming and interior design – it had to be vibrant and youthful. And wonderfully colourful.
“It used to be all about space, status and prestige. Today, experience and the connection with a city and the community are most important. Moreover, space is becoming more and more expensive and as, an interior designer, you have to be much more creative with the available square meters. Without losing sight of the customer and the target group. We aren’t afraid to think outside the box. It’s all about rewriting the rules,” said creative director Vivian van Schagen, also founder of The Invisible Party. Thanks to the team’s imaginative approach, adaptive thinking and practical design, the design studio was able to optimize the use of the long and narrow spaces of almost all 28 rooms. And that resulted in surprising and exciting creations.
©Sal Marston PhotographyGuests enter each room through the bathroom and, in every room, the bed not only functions as a bed, but also as a workplace, a meeting point or a place to recharge. The bed spans the width of the room and, as a result, enjoys a prime spot by the window – “where you always wake up on the right side of the bed”. As a result, all space was used effectively without sacrificing function. When it came to colour, the studio opted for pistachio and lavender alternated with rust and black. The rooms are designed in such a way that, after a long day on the road, guests can recharge themselves fully and organize their stay in their own way.
The Invisible Party always likes to include a wink and a hidden surprise here and there, so nods to the brand story and the name of the hotel can be found throughout the interior – either with humour in the design, such as a black-and-white TV noise pattern that can be found on pillowcases and the terrazzo floor, or by various texts on the wall that refer to the ‘unplugging’ and the lamps designed according to the name of the public spaces.
The Invisible Party
The Invisible Party, led by founder and creative director Vivian van Schagen and managing director Servaas Vehmeijer, offers a unique service to big names as well as boutique and residential clients. They are experts at developing powerful brand and product identities that exceed expectations of the increasingly critical consumer. Contrary to what the name suggests, the work of the studio is anything but invisible. During each project – small or large – the team takes a deep dive into the essence of the concept and brings every detail to life. Each piece of the design has more layers than meets the eye and is quick to produce a smile and amazement. The Invisible Party has previously worked with Hema, Patagonia, W Hotels, and The Student Hotel.
The total size of the hotel is 595m2 and the building consists of five floors: the basement, the ground floor and three floors with guest rooms. The total area of the basement is 108 m2, that of the ground floor 130m2 and the other three floors have an area of around 120m2. The entrance, a café and various co-working spaces can be found on the ground floor. The hotel consists of a total of 28 rooms, with four unique room designs. Type A and B have a total surface of 13m2 and 17m2 respectively. These types of rooms are long and narrow. Type C and D are somewhat larger and more square and have an area of 24m2. All rooms have their entrance in the bathroom area.
©Ronald Tilleman Photography