Hotel Kebab is a concept for an Allstar Hotel, which aims to be a place for everyone, from the millionaires to muslims, from architects to housewives, from cats to backpackers etc. The site of the project is situated at a train station in Bregenz, Austria. It is a cultural hub of the Vorarlberg region. It promotes itself as local but wants to be global and once a year hosts a spectacular Opera event that attracts tourists. It has contradictions and a diverse population. After numerous observations, it was agreed that a common ground of public space could become the meeting point for all those diverse social layers. As such framing the public space is the goal of the project, whilst also providing for a hotel, a train and bus station.
The project can be seen as a critical stance on society and its’ values. Are values or cultural identities are the most important objective now, or it is rather the wellbeing of the common living? Therefore, the project addresses basic “rituals” that exist in each culture and social group. They are almost archaic and suggest the highest interaction. The hotel is subdivided in three houses: Eating, Playing and Smoking that are getting dissolved in the hypostyle of the open public space of the station. The big scale of the structure marks the place as a Gate to the city of Bregenz and the column grid visually reduces the scale and overlaps the private and public spheres.
Eating exposes the cultural and social belonging and creates a possibility to exchange. Playing comes from the childhood as a tool to learn and creatively simulate the possible situations in life. Smoking is the highest socially interactive activity that works as a place to reflect, meet people and expose the individual violence committed by the social media that imposes a fake mask of a happy and healthy individual that has no worries.
Within the project the graphic language attempts to expose the contradictions and complexities in our society. Layers of the images contain information that overlaps and, in its combination, creates a confusing feeling of absurdity, irony and ability to formulate own position toward the society aspects, highlighted in the project.
Who influences you graphically?
Hard to indicate any specific person or style, since there were used several ways to communicate the idea. Comic books are a huge inspiration, due to their strong ability to convey the story and combine it in both graphical and textual way. There details play a huge role, since they help to identify what is the setting, time or action. Also the visual appearance was meant to be quiet mainstream and pop that corresponds to the city strategy to sell itself as a cultural and tourist hub and the Hotel Kebab is a place in it.
What defined the multitude of mediums through which you articulate the speculation? To what extent did one influence the other? Which one did you prefer?
Each project stage or each image has its own audience and purpose, and depending on that the visual language was chosen. For instance the first collages of the city (Bregenzland) and the project concept (The temple of the public space) were meant to be almost a factual list of the main features and collage is the best medium for that. Hand sketches (Barefoot and Absurddd) were done to visualize the social life of the Hotel and were done for myself as a comic book, since they depict the action very clearly. Final renders are for the audience to understand the project and more traditional visualisation way was taken. There was no preference on a style and all these mediums are only meant to deliver the idea.
To what extent where the images used and explored as tools within the process of making rather than final product?
They helped to evaluate the spatial distribution of the program and discover the parts that are working good or not. Speculative sketches on the part of the bus station brought me to the idea of covering the whole space with the roof and support it with the hypostyle, which would enable to combine the utilitarian need of a train and bus station with an ancient way of composing the public space and the hotel space.
What defined the fragments you choose to feature within the montages? Where do these images come from?
Each fragment is meant to indicate the genius loci. It should refer to a certain time frame or to its means of operation, sometimes they are collected from contradictory contexts and their combination creates the needed level of absurd that enriches the social life of the Hotel. Some images are from the site, some are quite recognisable to make a straight reference and simplify the visualization of the environment by the viewer.
When constructing the montages- what were your biggest concerns?
Details. Banana skin next to the trash bin, smoking signs, kebab machine – they all are telling the story of the inhabited place, but not a perfect and ideal one, but the one that confuses and reveals diverse layers in our society. Venturi argues a lot in his Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture on the complex composition of the environment, since it is the only way to answer the contradictory situations (where the Hotel Kebab purposed for everyone and being public is such). “Where simplicity cannot work, simpleness results.”
How does the plan is in relation to the other drawings?
Plans are the technical part of the project, they are mostly read by the specialists (architects, engineers etc). They were attempted to be pure and “serious” in their appearance. When images try to trigger the viewer imagination and partly speculate on the possibilities, plans – clear and reduced – represent the backbone of the project. It is where architecture is not dissolved in its assumptions and imagery, but where it is a true setting that has a clear structure and program.
Born in Kiew, Ukraine, Anastasi did her Bachelor at the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture. She completed her Master degree at the University Liechtenstein, and then did an exchange semester at the Technical University Munich. This project was done as a Thesis project at the University Liechtenstein under supervision by Hugo Dworzak, Dipl.-Ing. Arch, MArch and Martin Mackowitz,Dipl.-Ing. Anastasia is currently working at Atelier Starzak Strebicki and drawing comics in the free time.