Miles & More

The Economy-Design Hotel

01. Oct 17 , Blog

Economy hoteldesign by Karim Rashid

The staging of a brand in a room

The staging of a brand in a room

Have you ever spent the night in a brand? Have you walked around in it, had your breakfast there and relaxed in it? That is the idea that Marco Nussbaum and Dr. Matthias Zimmermann had in mind back in 2006 when they developed the concept for the budget design hotels.

They didn´t only want a really cool hotel design that is affordable for guests, but also a design that excites the guests. The guest should experience lifestyle and move around distinctive rooms which reflect the brand. It was the vision to hormoniously connect design and practicality. To create an atmosphere that interacts with the people through shapes, colours, technique, light and materials. The prizeotel guests should be inspired and an added value should be created. The goal: to create modern locations with an international flair achieved through beauty and functionality; down to earth and upmost creativity. A worldwide uniform and comprehensible brand!

Okay, got that, anything else?
Of course it was clear to both founders that these ideas were quite challenging. And it was also clear to them that they needed to find a real visionary and critical thinker for the design concept. And that´s what they did!

Colourful, more colourful, Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid is quite extraordinary, even when considering that his home city is New York. He, meanwhile being one of the most successful international designers, is the perfect match to capture the founders visions in a unique design over and over again. Each prizeotel has its own signature from the outside to the inside, from each room to the breakfast spoon, from the shampoo to the music selection. Each prizeotel has its own style: curved, round, in the shape of an ellipse and somehow a little bit shrill. But in a good way.


Spot landing for prizeotel


With the opening of the first prizeotel in Bremen-City, our successful and to this day ongoing work with Karim Rashid began. We quickly realized that we had definitely followed the right impulse. Not only was the prizeotel extremely well received by our guests (which is actually the most important thing to us), but the icing on our already huge cake was winning the red dot award: product design 2010. In the fields of interior design and architecture our concepts competed with 1.600 other companies from 57 nations and was able to convince the international 30-head jury. We liked that!

But who is Karim Rashid?

He is the pop star among designers!

Starting with the hard facts: Karim Rashid was born in Cairo in 1960 and grew up in Canada. After studying Industrial Design and doing different jobs, he founded his own design studios in New York and Rotterdam in 1993. It was a huge success. Meanwhile he has designed more than 3.000 designs and objects, has won more than 300 awards, and works in more than 40 countries.
Additionally he shares his knowledge as a guest lecturer at various universities, is the author of published books and his work is being displayed in many of the big museums around the world.

Wow. You could think there must be more than only one person behind all of this. You can openly say that he is the most productive designer in the world and he doesn't back off from anything: luxury goods, Industrial Design, light, furniture, high tech products, packaging design, corporate industry and the list goes on and on. But what makes the guy with the colourful mind and exclusively white clothes so special? Karim has his own way of thinking about design. He pleads for Designocracy! For affordable design. Not only for the elite or rich people, whose taste he occasionally sees as questionable. And that is how he took the liberalisation of design upon himself. A great example for that is the light bulb in all of the prizeotel rooms. On the one hand a super cool light, on the other hand wardrobe hooks with heavy load capacity. We don´t think there´s a better way to connect practicality and design.

Karim Rashid in an interview on the occasion of prizeotel Bremen-City's 5th birthday


What are Your personal congratulations?

Happy Birthday prizeotel Bremen-City! I am as proud as a father. It is great to see the success of my designs and to celebrate this jubilee. It makes me feel alive and a part of something big.


In 2008 Marco Nussbaum and Dr. Matthias Zimmermann asked you whether you'd like to be the designer of a budget-design-hotel named prizeotel. What was your first reaction? What convinced you to say yes?

I thought it was great that the concept of prizeotel was based on democratic design. I call it ''Designocracy''. I don't design for wealthy people, but for everyone. The rooms at prizeotel start at 59€ per night. That's why we had to be smart about choosing the design and the materials and really think everything through in order to achieve the best results. prizeotel is a dream project to me: I was finally able to realize my ideal principles which I had been talking about for such a long time.


When the prizeotel Bremen-City was first opened in 2009 magazines wrote that the interioir design reminded of the ''neon cult'' and of science fiction movies of the 60ties. Nowadays people usually aren't too keen on wearing, let's say a pair of neon green shoes. Why does the perception of colors and shapes change once guests set foot in the prizeotel Bremen-City? Can you explain why the majority of the guests feels comforable right away?

Contemporary design oftentimes tend to give off a cold, alienated and inhuman feeling. I want to show the world that today's physical world can also be warm, soft, human and comfortable. I use colors and shapes to create an atmosphere and feelings that reach the public. Color isn't just color. You can touch it, it is strong and it has physical appearance.


Karim, you've already designed many restaurants, shops, public spaces and of course also hotels, such as My Hotel in Brighton/Great Britain or not long ago Nhow Hotel in Berlin. What is special about prizeotel?

It was really great to create a fascinating budget-hotel which was the first one of its kind in Germany. The limited budget was a challenge, but we managed to find solutions and suppliers that could offer us high quality design at a small price. Design doesn't always have to be expensive, it is possible to create high quality design with little money.


The prizeotels founders' goal was to make prizeotel the most unconventional budget-design-hotel in Germany. Have they succeeded in your opinion?

Absolutely! High quality design being available for everybody is a human right. Prizeotel covers all of the guests needs, has all the details of a boutique-hotel and offers a unique experience to the travellers. In addition to a hotel, I also designed an experience. We selected the music, the smell of the cleaning products, the shampoo and soap, we designed the clothes of the employees and much more. prizeotel demonstrates that the world can be an inspiring and creative place full of energy.