Poznan, Poland is home to one of Europe’s most interesting luxury hotels, Blow Up Hall 5050. The wealthiest woman in Poland and passionate art proponent, Grażyna Kulczyk, is the mastermind behind this renovated 120,000 square-metre brewery, which is now the Stary Browar center. In 2003, Kulczyk began construction on the product of her business philosophy, the 5050 model, which is that every endeavor should be 50 percent art, 50 percent business. In addition to the Blow Up Hall Hotel, the complex houses two luxury shopping malls and a free gallery of Kulczyk’s modern art collection.
The old brewery’s original architecture and brickwork remain and have been blended into the building’s new hyper-modern design. Sprinkled with Kulczyk’s collection of modern art, the entire complex is frequently used as an event space for fashion shows and the like, exemplifying the 50/50 model.
The four story brick entryway is complete with a dazzling hanging light installation and a concierge that presents nothing other than an iPhone 5 guest’s room key that comes with a functioning Polish simcard and can be used all over the city. The Blow Up Hall original artwork, beginning in the lobby, is designed by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a digital artist, and is inspired by 1960’s British art film, Blowup. As guests approach the dimly lit room, they are led by a central lighted path toward a screen upon which their own image is split up and digitized.
In order to completely immerse guests into the art of the hotel, in order to find one’s rom, the “room finder” app is opened, and while walking down the hallway guests are met with distorted images of themselves on each room’s screen (there are no room numbers) until a screen flashes a welcome message. Only then is the “open door” app needed.
Each room is an independent design, and completely different from all the others. Among some interesting themes are an entirely jet black room that guests purportedly stay in for days at a time to live in total darkness and lose all concept of time. Other rooms play with layout, placing the bathtub directly behind the bed. As for the well-reviewed restaurant and bar, a highlight is the cigar lounge built into a cavernous old kiln.
The Blow Up Hall 5050 is an interactive, artful and luxurious hotel that provides guests with an indulgent experience, indicative of Grażyna Kulczyk’s passions.
Photos courtesy of: uniquehotels.com, forum-grad.ru, holidaycheck.com, sweetydesign.com, secondglobe.com