The spatial requirements for the Null Stern (Zero Star) Hotel were simple, if wildly unconventional: no real estate, no walls, no roof. Comprising just a double bed and two nightstands with solar-powered reading lamps, the open-air, single-room inn—which is tucked away in the Alpine folds of Switzerland’s Grisons canton—puts a new spin on minimalist hotel design. Swiss conceptual artists and brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin arrived at the “bed-hotel” idea after the success of a project they completed in 2009: a bedroom installation inside a fallout shelter, called Null Stern, that ultimately turned into an actual guesthouse, now closed. With the open-air Null Stern, the Riklin brothers sought to “push the boundaries of the hospitality experience” while showcasing the vast splendor of the Alpine topography. “The landscape becomes the wallpaper,” says Frank. The spare furnishings were reused from the earlier installation and sit atop a 140-square-foot foundation of regional stone and concrete. Appearing “like Photoshop in real space,” says Frank, it is as if the room were cut out of its original context and pasted onto this pastoral scene. The $260-per night “hotel,” which is booked for summer and fall until 2020, is managed by residents of a nearby village and is located just a five-minute walk from a mountain restaurant, where guests can eat their meals and use bathroom facilities. In wet weather, the hotel cancels the reservation. With this innovative take on luxury lodging, “the guest is the star,” say the brothers, and the hotel is Switzerland.
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