Motel Out of The Blue by Maartje Dros
and Francois Lombarts


Designers Maartje Dros and Francois Lombarts used scaffolding to convert an empty construction site in Amsterdam into a temporary conference over the summer. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Called Motel Out of The Blue, the project was installed inside a partly-constructed building while the construction workers were on holiday.

The centre included a meeting room, lecture hall, dining room,  library and 50 rooms for visitor accommodation.

All furniture was constructed from scaffolding and wooden planks.

The designers aimed to recreate the atmosphere of a monastery.

Motel Out of The Blue was used to hold a symposium discussing the topics 'Instant Urbanism', 'Hospitality' and 'Accelerated History'.

Here's some text from the designers:


Motel Out of The Blue

A construction site transformed into a temporary hotel and congress hall.

In a half completed and damp construction site, workers follow a strict daily routine. Similar to monks, the workers spend most of their days in minimal spaces and have modest lifestyles.

During the summer vacation, the workers abandon the site and all work is halted. The empty construction site will be the location of ‘Motel Out of the Blue’.

'Solid 18' (housing block 18 on IJburg, Amsterdam), the future activity centre on the island presently under construction, will be used during the summer as a temporary public facility, a residency space and amphitheatre. It has been specially designed for this occasion and will contain event spaces where a number of workshops, conversations, study sessions, performance's and staged discussions will take place. The themes ‘Motel Out of the Blue’ will be discussing are Instant Urbanism, Hospitality and Accelerated History.

The design for this symposium is inspired and based on the monasteries of Le Corbusier, Monastre La Tourette and Dom van der Laan, Abby Saint Benedictusberg. Block 18 which, like the monasteries, is a basic concrete structure. During the symposium it will house a meeting room, lecture room, dormitories, a mess hall and a library. These facilities are recreated in scaffolding and rough planks. Similar to a monastery, accommodation for visitors is available. The 50 minimal rooms provide a panoramic view of the recently built Ijburg landscape and a space for reflection.

Maartje Dros and Francois Lombarts are the designers of this temporary interior. Both graduated from the Design Academy Eindhovens’ department Man and Public Space. They have been working as designers and researchers specifically focusing on public space. The design for ‘Motel Out of the Blue’ explores tensions and possibilities of the formal and informal use of the construction site and the basic needs and comforts of its users.

Out of The Blue has been developed by The Blue House and a number of partner institutions including: Locating the Producers - an on-going collaborative research initiative between Situations at the University of the West of England, Bristol, ProjectBase in Cornwall and Dartington College of Arts / University College Falmouth and led by Dr. Paul O’Neill, ECREA – European Communication Research and Education Association - Philosophy of Communication and The Art of Urban Intervention, a project by < rotor > association for contemporary art (Graz), University of J. E. Purkyne (Usti nad Labem), [BLOK] – Local Base for cultural refreshment (Zagreb), The Blue House (Amsterdam), Institute of Contemporary Art Sofia and NABA – New Academy of Fine Arts (Milano). The Art of Urban Intervention is supported by the Cultural Programme of European Union.

The symposium has been generously has been made possible by Moes Bouwgroep, De Key - De Principaal and with the support of AFK, Mondriaan Stichting, Stichting DOEN and SNS REAAL Fonds. The Blue House is also supported by de Alliantie, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Digitale Pioniers, Fonds BKVB, ECF, SKOR, Stadsdeel Zeeburg, VSB Fonds and Waterstad 3.

Posted on Thursday October 8th 2009 at 2:09 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • JJF

    YES! I like!

  • louisa V.

    really stunning*

  • gaque


  • What a great use of materials:)

  • aeolus

    Most ingenious! But you mean the construction stops for a whole summer?

  • Samantha

    I understand the thought behind it, but I would hate to spend hours at a conference in that space. Unemotional and cold.

  • stst

    “The designers aimed to recreate the atmosphere of a monastery.” mhhh…. well but despite that a nice one, i like the candlething :)

  • arnulfo alamil

    love it.. its like a mix of industrial, art, modernism and achu chu feeling.. hehe.. very unique indeed.

  • Great…love it……monastry? but fine and cost effective too.

  • davvid

    Samantha, I think the design is emotional — maybe too emotional even

  • Samantha

    Emotional? Explain. I’d be getting emotional if I was sitting on those seats, in the form of anger from a numb backside.

  • GTi

    Like it. Raw beauty.

  • Soo rough. I liked a lot. Great projet !

  • Nick

    Very nice !!!!! Simple and beautiful !

  • ketaki