A temporary hotel hosted young visual artists during Gastgastgeber, a cultural festival in the Ruhr district.
As part of Capital of Culture 2010 RUHR, the Dutch hosted a cross border project called GastGastgeber in the Ruhr area near the Dutch-German border. Bureau Venhuizen,a project management and research bureau in the field of cultural-based planning, invited architecture firm Studio Makkink & Bey to design temporary guesthouses for the event to house young visual artists and guests. The architects also acted as a curator in the empty water tower at train station: Oberhausen Hauptbahnhof.
The former water tower was turned into a work space and accommodation for designers. In the GastGastgeber hotel, Makkink & Bey wanted to discover new art by setting a very specific network of pioneers in motion to investigate the local potential.
An artist and their existing work were coupled with a guest artist who stayed on site to create new pieces of work. After waking up, a guest could start work by folding up the bed, making the function of the room visibly shift from bedroom into office. The physical design originates around the idea of ways of working, which is applied to the internal structure, that offers just enough comfort but still accommodate work activities.
Recreation requires an environment that accommodates a pause or rest, while working necessitates a more activating and flexible environment. The interiors should support an active posture, pose little distraction and supply furniture that supports work, such as a desk, workstation or an exhibition wall. A construction of wooden slats was put inside the stripped down room, keeping enough distance from the walls, so structures would retain their own form. The open, wooden structure could be dismantled and rebuild elsewhere, which made it very versatile.
The temporary nature of the hotel widened the scope of possible functions of the former water tower. Its short existence lent itself well as an experiment to test several scenarios that examine concepts such as travel and work.
Inside the rooms of the GastGastgeber hotel the Dutch designers left their work which they made on site. For guests who came after them, all the songs, illustrations, pottery and art served as a personal introduction to the Ruhr region.