Virserius Studio created a unique and innovative space you would be happy to spend a whole day.
How were you commissioned?:
Virserius Studio had worked with Hotel BLOOM's owners, Pandox, on other projects
What was the brief from the client and how much were they involved?:
Hotel BLOOM! and its owner/operators were very specific in their desire to have a unique and innovative space not previously seen before in Brussels. The idea was to make The Experience Floor a place where one could spend their day. For this, V/S worked closely with the management teams to ensure their visions became reality.
How did the brief affect the materials and design choices?:
The floors are industrial and were to remain that way. To add warmth and comfort, classic furniture pieces carefully placed throughout, which also encourages connection and collaboration.
How did your previous experience help you with this project?:
V/S had worked on an award-winning art-driven collaborative and multifunctional space before, with the completion in 2014 of Le Campus, located at the Hyatt Paris Charles de Gaulle. That project was known for eclectic and unexpected moments that guests could enjoy throughout the space, and that idea was also used for The Experience Floor.
Can you explain the layout of the project:
The Experience Floor comprises two underground floors featuring relaxed meeting spaces equipped with the latest technology.
What problems or challenges did you face?:
Both Hotel Bloom and its owners, Pandox, were very supportive of the design concepts presented by Virserius Studio, so much so that, based on these concepts alone, the hotel could sell space for events before the project formally began. Because of this, there were very tight deadlines to be met, so that the hotel did not lose sales that were particularly important during this uncertain time following the Brussels terror attacks in 2016. Also, the floors are large but also subterranean and industrial, so another challenge for this project was to make the spaces as bright and lively as possible.
What do you feel were the most unusual design elements of the project?:
Art played an essential role in conveying a sense of creativity in The Experience Floor. Belgium has a long and storied history with comics, with classics such as The Adventures of TinTin and The Smurfs. Virserius Studio referenced that cartoon tradition and style with an eye to bring it to new generations. Together with lifestyle firm Imago Productions, V/S created a new set of cartoons, which can be found throughout The Experience Floor, playfully engaging in activities relevant to the space – competing in ping pong, scaling new heights of creativity, relaxing, connecting with one another, planting the seeds of new ideas, jumping over hurdles to get from one place to another.
How do you think this project is pushing design forward? What makes it special?:
Also, as an art hotel, BLOOM! has been a major supporter of Brussels’s art students and community. Once the concepts for The Experience Floor were completed, a new art competition for students was held, spearheaded by Virserius Studio and Imago Productions, where the winners would have their work immortalized along the walls in the ballroom.
ART & ACCESSORIES: Imago Production
FABRICS: Baumann Dekor; Fils Doux; Kvadrat; Puging
FLOORCOVERINGS: By GC (poured concrete floor)
FURNITURE: Ambient Lounge; Chair Concepts; Comforty; Horm; Kristalia; Miniforms; Moodlii; RS Barcelona; Saba Italia; Objektagenture Van Laar; Pedrail
LIGHTING: Axo Light; Deco Lighting; Helvar Lighting; Miniforms; Universal Fiber Optics