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Conscious Hotel Museum Square

Conscious Hotel
Written by Roma Publications

Conscious Hotel Museum Square

Conscious Hotels strive to be as green, sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. There are currently four Conscious Hotels in Amsterdam; The Tire Station, Conscious Hotel Westerpark, Conscious Hotel Vondelpark and Conscious Hotel Museum Square, which has just undergone renovation.

Conscious Hotels say they are eco- friendly but not eco fundamentalist. For example, the hotels don’t make guests feel like they should change their lifestyles in order to become more like them, but rather, the eco-friendly aspect is quieter.

All their energy sources come from renewable energy, their beer is locally brewed, and they have an Eco roof attracting local wildlife; they say doing good can look good too, and that we can be kind to the planet whilst being kind to ourselves. Conscious Hotels are always inventing fresh, creative ways for them to connect and have fun. From pop- ups to tastings, they invite everyone to get together.

The first ever Conscious hotel, at Museum Square has been renovated and it’s been given an artier
look. The design for the renovation was created as a collaboration between Karina Schaffer (of LMNT
Design, Amsterdam) and Wendy Mahieu (of Studio Wendy Mahieu,The Hague)

Karina: “For a summarized version of the design mission, I would say the main focus was as it
always is when we are designing for The Conscious Hotel, how to bring out the sexy side of eco. Our
goal is to show how sustainable design can be achieved without making aesthetic compromises.
With slow but steady increase of suppliers that offer sustainable yet beautiful materials and
products, fortunately we are now able more than ever to have a wider range of options available.
We partnered with companies such as Mosa, Auping, Kvadrat, Ege Carpets, Tough Glaze, Unilin, Vola, Alki, amongst others.”

The creations found in and around the museum district are what inspired the journey of materials, colours and shapes in the newly renovated hotel. First opened ten years ago, this hotel was ready for a fresh look and so the renovation broke it down and built it back up. Here, inspiration is the foundation of the creative space.

The lobby and the rooms on the ground floor were inspired by the painting “North Atlantic Light”, by Willem de Kooning. The designers took the art piece down to a simplistic form and extracted their designs from there. They brought this inspiration inside and used it as a starting point for the design canvas of this unique hotel. The simple geometry, playful shapes and vibrant colours are what ultimately the pallet became.

The concept of deconstruction is the inspiration and challenge behind the design story. With the art works as the base of design, they built on this concept to search out materials and products that take existing elements and objects, deconstruct them, and then repurpose them into new and beautiful forms.

The upcycled glass bar top found in the lobby is a perfect example of this, as it is made entirely from recycled everyday glass bottles that are broken down, melted and then fused together to create the beautiful one of a kind surface.

The attraction is seeing that the life of a material, once considered unusable, is now viewed as beautiful. Re-use, re-cycle, re-purpose; for Conscious Hotels it’s the reward of discovering the sexy in the eco. Aside from the re-purposed material options they have chosen, all other aspects of the furniture, finishes and tangibles are carefully selected, with sustainability always at the forefront.

Their inspired patterns are the base for the colour story throughout the space. They use the deconstructed pattern to welcome guests and guide them through the hotel. Each floor is dedicated to a specific painting. The first and second being ‘Still Life with Flowers and a Watch’ by Abraham Mignon (placed in the Rijks Museum) and the third and fourths being ‘Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman Drawing’ by Vincent Van Gogh. The patterns from the paintings now become the unique canvas that is used to identify within the Conscious Hotels family.

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Founded in 1981 in a small village in the northern Basque Country in Itsasu by five friends, Alki manufactures and designs furniture, more specifically chairs, made of solid oak. Alki was founded as a cooperative because it is a business model that allows the company to run democratically.

The team behind Alki has built a company with a solid economic and human foundation, one that does justice to the idea of a collective. Another factor that contributes to its success is the company’s careful selection of local partners that provide the highest quality services.

The company has worked for a number of clients including the EPFL School in Lausanne, Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Quiksilver Headquarters in Basque Country, MUCEM museum in Marseille, Levis Strauss and Hermès. Most recently Alki worked at the Conscious Hotel Museum Square in Amsterdam, which is a hotel striving to be as green, sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.

Commenting about working with Conscious Hotel Museum Square, Eki Solorzano from Alki said: “We’re proud to be part of a project which puts the environment at the centre of its commitment.”

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