SPACE Suite, Kameha Grand Zurich
The Kameha Grand Zurich Hotel opens an innovative Space Suite designed by German artist Michael Najjar, who hopes to be the first contemporary artist in space in the near future. Immersed in an out of world experience, guests will be exhilarated by features such as Universe motifs, a zero gravity bed and steam bath with artistic views across space. With this new suite, Kameha Grand Zurich continues to transcend standard approaches to travel, going above and beyond the needs of business or leisure travellers visiting Zurich by offering them a glimmer of life in outer space. The Space Suite also finds perfect alignment with the sensory experience flowing throughout the hotel, creating a place where fantasy and reality converge, full of innovation and freedom of thought. Combined with eleven other awe-inducing themed suites and Swiss design from world-renowned creative Marcel Wanders, guests are sure to be delighted at every turn.
The creative flair behind the Space Suite stems from no ordinary designer. Michael Najjar is not only a visual artist but also an adventurer and future astronaut who has undergone intensive cosmonaut training in Russia, including jet fighter flights in the stratosphere, Zero G and centrifuge training, spacewalk simulation and computer simulations on the Soyuz spacecraft. Najjar will also be the first contemporary artist in space as one of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Pioneer Astronauts.
Inspired by the mystique of cosmology and a lifetime dedicated to space travel, Najjar’s renowned art is showcased in museums, galleries and biennials worldwide, interpreting science, history and philosophy into visions and utopias of future social structures.
The Space Suite
With his unique experience and artistic talent, Najjar has been exclusively commissioned to design the Space Suite for Kameha Grand Zurich. The idea behind this is to immerse guests or ‘crew members’ in the atmosphere of a space station, tapping into various elements of perception to enliven the experience. Najjar’s personal touch is also reflected in three original artworks from his most recent project ‘outer space’ as well as the Universe motif, which follows through from the carpet to the bath, rocket engine inspired spot lights, as well as exclusive novels, films and audiobooks about space travel.
Upon entering the Space Suite, an automated female voice inspired by John Carpenter’s science fiction film ‘Dark Star’ welcomes the crew member in 8 different variations, confirms their login and offers handling instructions for the Suite. Guests are then fully immersed in space with a Universe motifprinted on the carpet featuring high-res images from the Hubble Space Telescope which have been stitched together to create a new, fictive Universe. Bringing in Najjar’s abstract flair, the image is then inverted – space is white, stars are black. Other quirky features include spot lights inspired by rocket engines and a space glove where crew members can place their phones or key cards.
The bedroom or ‘sleeping module’ is covered by a semi-transparent foil which blocks visibility to the outside but allows light to enter, reflecting text from the famous HAL 9,000 computer in Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The bed is designed in a way to look like it is floating, while the mattress is shaped as a black rectangle to reflect the monolith from “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Crew members can then relax using an IPod next to the bed filled with selected audio books in German and English all related to the topic of space. The sleeping module also features a book shelf holding exclusive novels handpicked by Najjar himself, complete with non-fiction and science fiction publications about space travel, technology and adventures as well as Najjar’s recent publication ‘outer space.’
Founder & CEO of Kameha Grand Zurich, Carsten K. Rath, commented, “Moving between fiction and reality is a key feature of the Kameha brand, the Space Suite epitomises the ability of Kameha Grand Zurich to blur the lines between the two, creating an incredible design destination.”
Meanwhile, the window in the ‘living module’ has been covered entirely by mirror – a simulation which interferes with real space. This tests the crew member’s perception, making them question the room they are really standing in. The steam bath follows through with the Universe motif and features a small window which presents a view into space and down on Earth. The light above the bath tub displays the surface of Saturn’s moonEncleadus, which scientists assume hides a gigantic ocean under its ice surface. Four small square pictures are installed in the dressing room to show the famous Lunar Rover and Astronauts from Apollo 15, 16 and 17 on the moon’s surface.
The living module also features Apple TV with more than 20 selected movies; classics and some rare and unknown movies, all related to space. Four acrylic platforms hold mock ups of historic rockets and space ships. From left to right can be seen the famous V2, developed by Wernher von Braun, followed by the Russian Soyuz and the American Space Shuttle and lastly, the futuristic SpaceshipTwo by Virgin Galactic on which Najjar will fly into space.