amsterdam: the exchange hotel opening

© the exchange - the crinoline room with side hoops

amsterdam's quirky lloyd hotel has spawned a sister establishment smack in the middle of town that rivals the mothership in terms of creative hospitality. dubbed the exchange [a nod to the adjacent amsterdam stock exchange and its very own conceptual take on it], the initiative is part of the red carpet urban renewal project that aims to upgrade a pivotal stretch of downtown real estate that has had a bad rep for decades. equal to lloyd hotel, each room is rated one to five stars and looks different, but the comparison stops right there. the exchange's formula is far more conceptual, featuring rooms dressed as human models. eight selected students of the amsterdam fashion institute were asked to design the establishment's 61 rooms, spread over three buildings. they were guided by, and collaborated with dutch design studio ina matt which provided the property's overall design.

the result is a collection of mind-blowing rooms that impress, humour or maybe even freak you out. the most striking space arguably is the crinoline room which references the hoop skirts as worn by hedonist, 18th-century style icon marie-antoinette. the room design wittily incorporates a structure of side hoops, and one actually need to hoist it first before climbing into bed. regarding the dilapidated property as a naked body, studio ina matt first gave it a thorough skin treatment and designed special tiles that can be seen throughout the hotel. additionally, different public spaces were given a complete and playful transformation, all related to the human model concept. one space is decorated with a bold, 20-metre necklace of vintage lamps and the reception desk is upholstered in such a way that it resembles a fancy bag.

a major asset of the exchange is options!, a stellar gift shop on the ground floor. spread over 230 sqm. on two levels, it features an vast array of design items from across the planet. the offerings include ceramics, apparel items, kids items and our absolute faves, the one-off furniture pieces by japanese architect jo nagasaka. next to the gift shop, the cozy stock restaurant awaits both hotel guests and passers by with healthy, carefully selected drinks and bites, and in a setting that's not only designy and fun, but also reflects the communal creative effort of the exchange: all participants were asked to draw a fashion bird, and the outrageous result is boldy depicted on the walls. location: damrak 50 [centrum].

© the exchange - hotel rooms, light necklace, options! store and stock restaurant [top to bottom]