If someone told you a hotel is trashy, that would most likely turn you off with visions of unsanitary conditions and scratchy bedsheets. But in this case, ‘trashy’ is a literal descriptor, indicating that the 22 rooms spread across the city of Mannheim are actually made of garbage – and that’s a surprisingly good thing, resulting in incredibly creative spaces installed in some of the city’s most beautiful locations.
Architecture collective Raumlabor created ‘Hotel Shabby Shabby’ in May 2014 for the Theater der Welt festival, a 17-day-long event in the southwestern Germany city that presents theater productions from around the world and draws in thousands of visitors from across Europe.
Berlin-based Raumlabor invited architecture students, professionals and ‘creative geniuses’ to participate in building the hotel rooms of their dreams using almost nothing but the city of Mannheim’s trash. 120 creatives from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Pland, England, Austria and Germany came together to design 22 individual hotel rooms.
Working from a construction camp beside the Natioanl Theater of Mannheim, the groups each built and installed one ‘hotel cabin’ along the banks of the Rhine and the Neckar, on the site of former US barracks, and on the roofs of houses.
Throughout the entirety of the festival, the rooms were available to the public. Riverside rooms included a hut with transparent walls for optimal views, and a series of cabins constructed from reclaimed pallets.
Among the strangest is Prinz Kase, a coil of tubing held together with cable ties, which looked a bit like a bright yellow cocoon. ‘Under my Umbrella’ featured wooden bunks protected by a canopy made of umbrellas.
A UFO-like structure with a chipboard interior took up space right in the street, while a steel-framed, tent-like room was erected around one of the city’s statues.