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21c Museum Hotel, Louisville

11/16/2011

The 21c Museum Hotel opened five years ago in Louisville, but still seems fresh and above all interesting. New York-based architect Deborah Berke is responsible for the design of this museum/hotel – the only one of its kind in the entire US. Like a museum its exhibits change regularly, most of the pieces come from the private collection of the hotel’s owners – Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown. The statement making hotel distinguishes itself from the outset, red plastic penguins from the Venice Biennale are perched on top of the building’s large entrance and have become visual markers as well as impromptu mascots for the hotel.

An installation of four sculptures of children by Judy Fox loom over the reception desk of a lobby that has an uncanny resemblance to that of a contemporary museum. As guests move through the rest of the hotel they can admire (and even interact with some of) the everchanging artworks on display, from communal areas right down to the stylish bedrooms. This unusual concept hotel is so successful that the owners are currently planning two new locations, one in Cincannati and another in Bentonville. Images via Design Milk.

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