Check In: Hotel The Exchange

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
04.18.2012 | by: Meghan

I have stayed at (and been thoroughly wooed by) the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, so I understand the excitement behind creative genius/hotelier Suzanne Oxenaar’s latest project: a working experiment designed by fashion students and grads from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. It’s inspiring to see such a fantastically conceptual idea carried out on such a large scale. The idea is to treat–or “dress”–each of the 62 rooms like a fashion model. In Suzanne’s signature approach to design–both unapologetically gutsy and equally refined–no aesthetic is too conceptual or daring. Fabrics drape from the ceiling or cover entire walls in undulating folds and pleats, while hand-braided trimmings hang like the fringe of oversized epaulettes in a room dedicated entirely the ornamental shoulder piece. There’s an over-the-top Marie Antionette room and another based on the Emperor’s New Clothes fairytale, where nothing is what it seems. Custom fabrics are specially designed in collaboration with the Audax Textielmuseum, and Kvadrat gave students free reign of their archives in Denmark. There’s even a sewing machine in the lobby if guests are so inclined. The Exchange’s three buildings (one which dates back to the 17th century) sit across the street from the stock exchange–a detail that explains the naming conventions, including the restaurant and fashion shop, Stock and OPTIONS!, respectively.

[All photos by Mirjam Bleeker]


2 Comments on “Check In: Hotel The Exchange”

  1. It’s interesting as an art exhibit but some of the installations are quite messy, like the jumble of knots. I get that’s the look and abstract is ok for one or two standalone pieces but for rooms, if you’re covering an entire surface … neat and patterned is more soothing. People are supposed to live there, not walk through like a museum!


  2. But that’s exactly what makes it so special. I think spaces like this give guests an opportunity to create more than a passing connection to Amsterdam’s creative (yes, sometimes kooky, playful or even “messy”) design ethos–which is such an important part of the national culture. But sure, it’s definitely not for everyone. Luckily though, there are tons of options out there for folks who want a more soothing, tidy environment.


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