Being one of the most renowned contemporary designers, Karim Rashid has worked with world’s most famous luxury brands. Despite his remarkable clientele, he strongly believes that high quality design should be affordable to all – this is his philosophy of ‘Designocracy‘ , or democratizing design for everyday life. ‘Prizeotel’ is a project revolving around this concept and, according to the New York based designer, it was a long expected opportunity .

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

The first budget ‘Prizeotel’ hotel was realized in 2009, in Bremen, Germany, and a second one was opened in 2014, in Hamburg, Germany. It implied strict budget constraints, so “the concept had to be very smart and economical yet pleasurable and inspiring“, the designer mentions. “Today especially, design must prove its worth and address the inhuman built environment to give us elevated, more humanized, more qualitative, aesthetic conditions. Design must evolve us and create a beautification and betterment for society so I have tried in a small way to bring a spirit that elevates our human social lives for that momentary stay at a budget hotel, ” he adds.

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

The design project realized by Karim Rashid, with Camila Tariki and Cece Stelljes of Karim Rashid Inc, focuses on the guest areas and their journey, starting from the lobby – which encompasses a bar, internet station, buffet and outdoor terrace – and continuing upstairs, with the hallways and private guest rooms. Special attention was paid to the quality of the materials. For instance, the tactility of the wallpaper, or the room numbers woven into the custom carpets. “The rooms were designed with a bargain budget of 3200 Euro per room for furniture, finishes and equipment. ‘Prizeotel’ provides all the needs and details of a high-end boutique hotel and still creates a unique experience for the travelers“, Karim explains.

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

The design principles applied to this project are generally used by Karim Rashid in creating his personal environments, as he states: “Create large white spaces with accents of strong positive colors. Knock down walls that are not structural and open up spaces as much as possible. Have less but better furniture. We used warm, soft yet high performance materials that are easy to clean and age well.” Other solutions implied having a closet only for some of the rooms, where guests would stay for more than two nights. Apart from these design principles, the team also had to follow rules to comply with the German standards for material resources, so recycled carpets or tiles were used wherever possible.

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

Courtesy of Karim Rashid and Prizeotel Management Group, Photography: Eric Laignel

At ‘Prizeotel’, guests will surely have a unique experience due to the fact that Karim Rashid Inc. created more than just the interior space – they designed the shampoo and soap, the smell of the cleaning products, the logo, the staff uniforms, the website, a TV system for clients and even chose the music. Clearly, the ‘Designocracy’ vision proved to be a success. At only 59 Euros per night, it is a bargain for any traveler coming to Bremen or Hamburg!

 By: Ana Cosma

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