23.8.2011

Hotel Forsthaus in Ramsen, Germany

A pesar de haber sido por años la casa de un guardabosque, el edificio se transformó con éxito en un hotel. Se preservó el alma de la construcción y se mantuvieron sus dimensiones originales. Las modificaciones y adiciones se hicieron únicamente para satisfacer las necesidades de un hotel contemporáneo y cumplir con los requisitos de seguridad contra incendios. La historia de la construcción sigue siendo palpable a pesar de su nueva función. Cada una de las ocho habitaciones originales tiene ahora su propio estilo y ambientación. La novena sala se instaló donde antes se encontraba el antiguo lavadero.

Although the building had been a forester’s house for ages, it was successfully transformed into a hotel. While preserving the soul of the building and maintaining its original dimensions, alterations and additions were made to meet the requirements of a modern hotel. Minor changes to the buildings structure were made, but only to meet necessary fire safety requirements. The history of the building is still palpable despite its new function as a hotel. Each of its original eight rooms has its own feel and ambiance, and the ninth room is located in the former washhouse.

At first glance, the house’s transformation isn’t apparent. Although newly painted, the folding shutters (umbra grey), the roof, the window frames, and the sandstone (red) are still the same colors as they’ve always been. Only upon closer inspection does one notice the changes: “ES WAR EINMAL” (“Once Upon a Time”) is written on an umbra grey metal sheet and folded around the corner of the house. Another metal sheet emblazoned with the phrase “AUF DER LAUER” (“On the Lookout”) can be found on the retaining wall, and a third saying “DIE ERDE STILL GEKÜSST” (“The Ground Kissed Silently”) on the wall facing the garden. In the back of the garden, the former kitchen garden was renovated and is now in use.

As the visitor enters the Forsthaus/hotel, he/she is surrounded by umbra grey. The entrance is very dark, but spots accent the room doors, the flooring is made to look like fallen leaves and moss. The staircase, unmodified, stands like an accessible, functional sculpture or historical relic. As visitors step our of the dark corridor into the light rooms, they will notice a quotation under their room number. Each room has its own little story:
1) EINS dazwischen (“ONE in between”): “Der Lattenzaun mit Zwischenraum…” because the essential is neither above nor below.
2) ZWEI im Wald (“TWO in the Forest”): Who doesn’t wish to sleep between the trees?
3) Auf DREI (“At THREE”): You can rise in beds, let your thoughts rise, but you can also rise as a football club…
4) VIER um die Ecke (“FOUR around the corner”): “Das also war des Pudels Kern…” Sometimes you have to think outside the box (in German: “around the corner”) to uncover a secret or find a solution that actually works.
5) FÜNF Farben weiß (“FIVE shades of white”): Anyone who’s ever crumpled a piece of paper knows that white and white are not the same (the room is designed in five different shades of white).
6) SECHS Augenblicke: This room is divided into many parts, with views of the forest here and there. “Stay, thou art so beautiful…”
7) Wolke SIEBEN (“Cloud SEVEN”): This has proved to be the most popular room, and also the most spacious – the mind is free in this room.
8) ACHT Quadratmeter(“EIGHT Square Meters”): Although the room isn’t huge, it has a lot of other things to offer.
9) NEUN und noch ein Haus (“NINE and another house”): The former washhouse has been turned into the ninth room, and is perfect for visitors seeking peace and solitude.

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Each room has its own character. The materials in the rooms are Douglas Fir tree-layer boards, concrete blocks, and solid oak timber – simple but strong materials. As they’re not brightly colored, attention is shifted to the house’s older materials. Nothing in the house is without meaning; the simple, cubic furniture contrast and accentuate the older materials of the house. This ambiguity allows the visitor to dream up their own story of the forester’s house.

There is no meaningless architecture.

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