Museumotel was originally designed in 1966 by architect Pascal Hausermann for hotelier M. Thierry as a cluster of 9 domed white bungalows that look like space pods crossed with hobbit holes, plopped down in the wooded landscape of northeastern France. Originally called “Motel de l’Eau Vive”, the hotel was very successful, but the ensuing years took its toll on the hotel and it was eventually sold but never regained popularity and was left abandoned. After becoming a private residence in 2003, the hotel was eventually sold and was fully renovated and brought up to modern standards; though Hausermann’s distinctive design has been left untouched.
The whole vibe is modernized pop art, updated for the hip traveler. The interior of each “bubble” has been redone in a theme and given a name such as “Love Bubble”, “Star Bubble”, “Fifties Bubble”, and “Zen Bubble”. Breaking away from traditional architecture, the structures are made using a “concrete veil” building technique that stacks layers of metal mesh, thermal insulation, and polystyrene, which is finally sprayed with concrete. The interiors are very spacey with huge circular windows, dripping support columns, curving staircases, and arched doorways are common features.
The story of Museumotel is fascinating not only because it spans decades, but also because it shows how ahead of their time Thierry and Hausermann were when they conceived the hotel. The idea of an intimate hotel made up of individual structures built to give guests room to relax in their own private space may not seem that strange now, but it was far from ordinary in 1965. The Museumotel has remained popular among design enthusiasts and architecture lovers in the Raon l’Etape area. Via
Visit the website of the Museumotel here.