Dezeen Magazine

Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender

Hotel Rosalie encourages nature to "reclaim its rightful place in the urban landscape"

French interior designer Marion Mailaender has worked with hotelier Joris Bruneel to create a hotel in Paris informed by overgrown and abandoned buildings.

Conceived as a hidden oasis in the city, Hotel Rosalie is set in a courtyard behind a tall iron gate on a tree-lined street in the 13th arrondissement.

Exterior of Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender in Paris
Marion Mailaender has designed nature-informed interiors for Hotel Rosalie

Greenery is incorporated into every aspect of Mailaender's design for the 60-room hotel, including a plant-filled terrace and a hidden roof garden.

Parisian urban gardening collective Merci Raymond was brought on board by Bruneel to make the hotel's outdoor spaces seem "overgrown" and help nature "reclaim its rightful place in the urban landscape".

Secret garden area in Parisian courtyard hotel with metal furniture and trees
The hotel's terrace features outdoor furniture by the Bouroullec brothers

Bruneel was particularly influenced by Urbex, a series of images by French photographer Romain Chancel that is displayed in the hotel's guest rooms and depicts abandoned urban buildings that have slowly been reclaimed by plants.

In a nod to this work, Merci Raymond encouraged lichen and moss to grow and seeds to germinate in the hotel's nooks and crannies. Meanwhile, Mailaender incorporated urban design elements into the scheme ranging from "Roman-style statues" to an old Peugeot 205 car that is seemingly left abandoned on the rooftop.

Yellow mirrored columns in hotel lobby with pre-owned chairs and plants
Mirrored yellow columns traverse the lobby

On the ground floor, the hotel's Open Garden is accessible to the local community and features steel outdoor furniture by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec set across a two-level terrace linked by a little staircase.

A towering six-metre hop plant provides shade while its flowers will be used by a microbrewery in the 11th arrondissement to make beer.

Clover-patterned sofa in lounge area of hotel lobby by Marion Mailaender
A Gae Aulenti sofa in the lobby is upholstered in clover-patterned fabric

The hotel's Secret Garden lies behind a hidden door on the third floor. This is furnished with deck chairs, wooden benches and planters, offering a space where guests can read, relax in the sun, do yoga classes or participate in workshops organised by the hotel.

Inside, Mailaender has included plenty of nature-inspired elements. In the lobby, a giant coconut-fibre rug leads guests inside while armchairs and couches by Italian architect Gae Aulenti are upholstered in clover-patterned pop art fabric.

Meanwhile, guest rooms feature galvanised steel furniture, which is typically used outdoors, and floral William Morris carpet that extends up from the floor and across the headboards.

The interior blends new and reclaimed pieces in an approach that Mailaender describes as "intentional ambivalence".

In the bathrooms, for instance, traditional baths are paired with counters made from terrazzo-style recycled plastic.

Green and pink floral William Morris wallpaper in hotel room in Paris by Marion Mailaender
Floral William Morris carpet covers floors and headboards in the guest rooms

All materials were chosen for their aesthetic as well as their environmental impact, according to Mailaender.

For example, the carpet in the guest rooms is made from recycled fishing nets and wood offcuts were used to make a marquetry tabletop in the lobby.

Bathroom of Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender with striped tiled walls and speckled counter
Bathrooms feature counters made from recycled plastic

Cork clads the restaurant's floor and the walls of the elevator, and many of the chairs are pre-owned pieces that were carefully restored.

"I believe that we can mix furniture designed by the Bouroullec brothers with random pieces from a gardening catalogue," explained Mailaender. "Embracing current concerns means selecting sustainable materials alongside aesthetically pleasing design pieces."

Overgrown red car that says Junior on the side
Planting surrounds an old Peugeot 205 in the hotel's rooftop garden

The hotel has its own coffee shop The Common, finished in a distinctive blue hue that nods to 90s air hostess uniforms.

This colour is echoed on a glossy pillar in the bar, a trellis in the secret garden and on the guest room doors, where it offsets the grass-green carpet that winds through the hotel corridors.

Dezeen recently rounded up ten verdant hotel interiors from our archive that show how adding greenery to public spaces can help give them a friendlier, more organic feel.

The photography is by Christophe Coenon unless stated otherwise.

More images

Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender
Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender
Photo by Herve Goluza
Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender
Photo by Herve Goluza
Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender
Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender
Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender
Hotel Rosalie by Marion Mailaender