There aren’t many hotels in the world like the Michelberger Hotel; but then there aren’t many cities in the world like Berlin. In fact I can think of none. The anti-thesis of perfection, both destinations are built on the same raw and rebellious energy that drives the souls who visit.
The Michelberger Hotel is a kind of modern-day mirror-image of Berlin – which is, funnily enough, anything but modern and far, far from finished. But that’s the whole point, says head interior architect, Till Grosch, 29, “Berlin is constantly reinventing itself and so is the hotel. We didn’t want it to be perfect like other hotels but to have an improvised and temporary feel to it, just like Berlin.” And through a collaborative effort between the hotel’s creator, Tom Michelberger, a former rafting-guide and video-game producer, his girlfriend, actor and set-designer Anja Knauer, as well as internationally renowned designer Werner Aisslinger, the Michelberger Hotel has achieved the perfect amount of random, edgy imperfection.
As Tom Michelberger says, “Perfection does not create memories, because memories only result from movement… a lively experience of interaction with people, the surroundings and the atmosphere. ” The improvised feel starts even before you enter the hotel, with a neon sign shining bright outside reading: “Construction Site”.
Inside this former factory is inquisitively welcoming for the avant-gard types, and everywhere you look, the hotel pays homage to the weird, laid-back, roughness of Berlin. The hallways show scenes from The Big Lebowski, four cuckoo clocks line the concrete wall at the entrance and the furnishings are a curious mix of flea-market finds and antique store pieces. The bar and lobby area spell youthful creativity, housing metal wire cages stuffed with second hand travel guides and seventies magazines. Everything in the hotel – from the chintzy wallpaper to the lights – has been built or hand picked to sit exactly where it sit now. And it’s constantly being reinvented. There’s also a larger-than-life courtyard and bar in the middle of the hotel. It’s lined with colourful prayer flags, gazebos, antique frames and almost every other random vintage knick-knack you can think of. It doubles as a happening (local and visitor) beer garden and serves up a health breakie in the morning, complete with cutesy miniature “breakfast boards” for those staying at the hotel.
Michelberger Hotel – The Lowdown