“Nøtel Corporation is proud to present our new marketing suite for the Nøtel, our flagship range of zerø-star™* hotels that embody the concept of fully-automated luxury. Designed by world-leading architects to accommodate today’s global nomads, you can rest assured that your anonymity and security is of the utmost importance. Why not indulge in the personalized, intelligent sound system at the piano bar, or bathe in the glow of our eco-friendly, thermo-nuclear spa?” – Nøtel CEO Statement
Nøtel (The Hague) is a multimedia installation by London-based artist Lawrence Lek, scored by electronic musician Kode9 (Steve Goodman). The installation transforms Stroom‘s gallery space into a real estate marketing suite for the fictional Nøtel Corporation, Lek’s design for the luxury hotel of the future.
This immersive advertisement enables visitors to experience the Nøtel through interactive video games, guided walkthrough trailers and virtual reality tours, rendering the global hotel chain as if it already exists on site.
Set in a future where society’s elite no longer needs permanent housing, but rather stays in temporary accommodation, Nøtel (The Hague) proposes a globalized, standardized way of living. Nøtel guests can be sure that another Nøtel is ready for them in every major city worldwide.
Lek envisions the future of the housing market as being completely absorbed into a deluxe version of the Airbnb sharing economy, where the desire for private ownership gives way to a lifestyle of perpetual mobility.
Nøtel replaces human workers with artificial intelligence to deliver everything its guests could possibly wish for. Drone security, facial recognition and extensive sensory systems will not only ensure the utmost privacy, but will predict guests’ wants and needs based on previous behaviours.
Whereas the common understanding of automation forecasts the loss of human jobs to robots, in Nøtel, the use of total surveillance will enable its AI to assimilate every need into the hospitality machine. There is no better place in the world for Nøtel to showcase its militarized architectural features and state-of-the-art surveillance – after all, The Hague is proud to brand itself the city of not only Peace and Justice, but also Security.
The city has recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Hague Security Delta, a cybersecurity incubator where government agencies, educational institutions and private businesses are hosted under one roof for the stated purpose of knowledge exchange and technological innovation.
Nøtel, as a state-owned corporation integrating the newest defence systems directly into its architecture, presents a future in which the entanglement of government, security and business is taken to its logical conclusion. The site-specific installation continues Lek’s exploration of architectural simulations to explore the critical issues around technological development in an urban context.
Using speculative architecture to imagine the future of the home, Nøtel (The Hague) juxtaposes the politics of automation and security with notions of alienation and belonging. Curated by Ilga Minjon and Lua Vollaard, the project was co-commissioned with arebyte gallery, where Nøtel (London) was installed from July 17th – September 1st 2018.
Its first iteration was designed to reflect the real estate market of London City Island, where arebyte is located. Like many other inner-city post-industrial zones, the area is rapidly transforming into a hotspot for real estate speculation, driven by its proximity to Canary Wharf, a global centre for the financial industries.