TRENDS – To kick-off the newest issue of St-W magazine, we’ll be posting five days of exclusive online content throughout the month.
In the new July/August issue The Fashion of Fitness, we feature Werner Aisslinger’s milestone projects; from designing the Juli chair for Cappellini in 1996, to the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin in 2014.
After the success of 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, Werner Aisslinger has realized another venue for the brand, this time in Zurich. The German designer shares his vision for the future of hospitality with us.
Werner Aisslinger’s 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin was about creating a destination – not just for guests, but for locals as well – instead of a place to simply spend the night. ‘It was quite out there at the time, and it led to a lot of jobs: shopping malls in Hong Kong, hotels in Taiwan. We started to become more international,’ says the designer.
Accor also picked up on Aisslinger’s hospitality smarts; he now does concept projects and acts as a consultant for the hotel group. ‘It’s interesting to be involved in the visionary phase of a project rather than doing only this or that hotel. We’re addressing how hotels adapt to the future.’
Hotel chains have done things a certain way for a long time. Bringing in someone like you obviously gives them a new perspective. Where do you think hospitality is going?
WERNER AISSLINGER: All analogue places – a showroom, hotel, shopping mall, corner store – have to rush because they’re competing with the digital world. In the future, the question will more often be: do I order something on my iPad or do I spend time gong to the shop? It will become more and more complicated to make people move. You have to deliver and offer a lot to make people come.
WA: Yes, there will always be travelling. But to make people come to your hotel or hostel, you can’t just offer something standard – what’s been done in the past – at a good price. Even low-cost hotel chains have to step it up nowadays.
WA: Everyone has to rush to be better than they were ten years ago, otherwise people simply look at the images of a space online before booking and judge it as outdated. They’ll pick something else. I think the situation is good for architects and designers because the aesthetic and conceptual levels of a space have to improve. Otherwise it will fail.
WA: Hospitality is about connecting a hotel to the city, not just being a box for tourists. It’s about open-minded places that draw in locals. You have to create experiences for people and astonish them. They need to be wowed. They don’t want a bathroom or a bed like they have at home. Brands or makers of spaces need to raise the level of sophistication.
Werner Aisslinger portrait Daniel Hofer
25hours Zurich photos Jens Boesenberg