Dezeen Magazine

The Michelberger Hotel by Werner Aisslinger

Berlin designer Werner Aisslinger has completed a budget hotel designed to feel like staying at a friends house, which opens today in Berlin.


The Michelberger Hotel is housed in a converted factory building featuring a brick facade, high ceilings, large windows and a courtyard that acts as the social hub of the hotel.


Anja Knauer and Sibylle Oellerich collaborated with Aisllinger to design the hotel interior using objects sourced from local flea markets, often re-purposing them for other uses, and low-cost materials such as laminated larch.


Every element of the hotel has either been custom designed and built, or selected specifically for it from furniture to hand-lettered stickers on the water bottles.


Each room features a unique wallpaper designed by Azar Kazimir depicting symbols and images significant to the hotel and its founders.


Three room sizes are available for individuals and groups of up to four people, as well as the more extravagant Luxus room, combining elements of hotel and hostel aiming to attract both backpackers and business men.


More from the Michelberger team:


Handcrafted, Original Space for the Social City Traveller
First Michelberger Hotel to Open in Berlin on 9th September 2009

Raw, rebellious and creative – these are the qualities that capture the unrivalled atmosphere and spirit of Germany’s capital, Berlin. Constantly recreating itself, East Berlin in particular has become a magnet for travellers from all over the world. Now, finally, a new hotel group is aiming to bring this vibrant way of life and unique historical patina inside the doors of its first property. The Michelberger Hotel, opening in September 2009 next to the famous Oberbaum Bridge and the river Spree, will extend the thrilling experience of the city into every aspect, yet with professional service and administration.


The 119 room hotel stems from the passion of founder, organizer and the central figure in a patch- work of young friends who came together to create the hotel: Tom Michelberger, a 31-year-old from southern Germany. He and his crew believe that character-driven enterprises are the ones that truly succeed: they do more than offer a product, they help transform the way business itself works. The opposite of a cool or trendy project, their goal is a sustainable, passionately run establishment that offers authenticity, a rare commodity in the world of city hotels.


The Michelberger brain trust, all new to the hotel world, has little interest in stereotypical ideas of luxury. They have created a cosmopolitan, yet street-savvy hangout, where they themselves would love to stay. With rates starting at 59 EUR per night, dreamers, movers and shakers, lovebirds, soul searchers, artists, craftspeople, globetrotters and Berlin aficionados alike can enjoy the special social dynamic of the 250-bed space, which will soon become a Berlin landmark for young and young at heart.


Every detail is thought through to provide a moving experience. Anything goes here, and it should. As Tom Michelberger says, “Perfection does not create memories, because memories only result from movement, from a lively experience of interaction – with people, the surroundings and the atmosphere.” To this end, internationally renowned Designer Werner Aisslinger redesigned the old factory building from the turn of the last century, complete with period details like a clinker façade, high ceilings and massive paned windows. But the rooms offer the clearest sense of the group’s efforts to create an innovative guest experience.


Five different room categories offer a range of different layouts. The rooms display a high level of space efficiency and lots of vertical drama and airiness - a feat allowed by the placing of loft bed areas above the bathrooms. Most rooms fall into the category of “33m3” and “55m3” rooms for singles, couples and threesomes but other options including The Big One allow groups of 4 or even more to room together. The core rooms feature king-sized beds on brushed larch-wood platforms, glass-walled bathrooms, free WIFI access, and flat-screen TVs running Michelberger-created loops of favourite movies and documentaries. The Big One is perfect for a travelling band or even a business group who want to share quarters; it’s a great space for play or work on a grander scale.


All rooms sport soothing grey tones and sunflower-yellow curtains, as well as custom-made wallpaper with symbols and images from the Michelberger group’s own experiences and fantasies. Obsessive attention was paid to almost every detail, from the hand-lettered stickers on the water bottles to the signage on the shower gel – everything bears the team’s signature playful disposition. This anything-goes execution and an abundance of personal, human elements from flea markets and antique stores provide a compelling counterpart to the hotel’s flowing, modern social space and the city outside.

The hotel’s public rooms heighten the person-to-person experience. From the façade with a Hollywood-style marquee sign, guests enter a short corridor filled with oversized light bulbs, letting them know they’re entering a special place. The courtyard, bar and restaurant areas flow into one another to encourage dynamic interactions. Instead of building an imposing reception desk, the Michelberger team created an inviting circular welcome island, placed in the centre of the bar and mingle zone. A relaxed and laid-back refuge from the bustling city during the day evolves into a lively night bar, featuring a stage for musical or other performances – a setting that will attract local scene-makers and tourists alike.

Michelberger Hotel - Do it yourself or as Monaco Franze would put it: “A bissel was geht immer.”