The Hedonist – Nuno Pimenta

architects_ Nuno Pimenta and Frederico Martins
location_ Neckarspitze, Mannheim, Germany
construction year_ 2014
construction team_ Frederico Martins, Miguel C. Tavares, Nuno Pimenta, Ricardo Leal and Rui M. Vieira
materials_ Pallets, steel props, wood beams, transparent corrugated fiberglass sheet, curtains, steel cable, flashlights
budget_250 €
photography_ Miguel C. Tavares, Rui M. Vieira and Nuno Pimenta .

from the architects_Just like the apparent spatial paradox of this site, the definition of Hedonism has two opposing but somehow complementary interpretations: Whilst philosophically associated with supreme pleasure and happiness in human life, its popular sense may be pejorative and related with the selfish pursuit of momentary gratification and lust.

The Hedonist was selected to be one of ‘Hotel ShabbyShabby’ rooms for Theather der Welt in Mannheim – the most influential theater festival in Germany. It was located at Neckarspitze, the exact place where the river Rhine and Neckar converge, a place with incredible 360º views that combine idyllic nature with industrial night lights and big ships passing by. ‘Hotel ShabbyShabby’ was curated by Raumlaborberlin in partnership with the festival and consisted on the design and construction of 20 temporary hotel rooms located in unexpected public spaces of Mannheim that should provide a unique experience to their guests. These rooms should be built only with recycled, reused or recyclable materials and should not exceed the budget of 250€. All the rooms were built in a workshop and construction camp right in front of the National Theatre of Mannheim and then transported to their respective sites.

‘The Hedonist’ translates this dichotomy by being a transformative room; it adapts itself to the user, his interpretation of happiness or simply to a transitory state of mind, whether it means waking up with a beautiful panoramic view of a natural landscape or having a hot one night stand. It offers the pleasure of being alone or the joy of showing off, the delight of a warmth bed or the relish of a joint venture.
Its transparency combined with the use of the red light, as hints of obscure joys, may be hidden or emphasized by the user, as the translucent white curtain reveal or conceal the room’s interior, depending on the intensity of light (day or night, artificial lights on or off). The repetition of vertical elements, as well as the component’s gradual layering towards the center suggest archetypes of visual harmony, human cult, craftmanship and tectonicity… this time around with contemporary humble materials.

The main structure is composed by wood beams and steel props braced by steel cables. The beams group and support the floor and ceiling both made with EUR-pallets.

‘The Hedonist’ thus reflects the good or the evil, the white or red, the opacity or the transparency, the shyness or the exhibitionism. It is a room where you can bring all of this inside or proudly show it to the outside.

The room was fully booked for the duration of the festival even before its construction completion.

Possibility of changing the room spatial attributes regarding the one’s hedonic models.

The Hedonist is assembled from pre-fabricated, recycled/recyclable or rentable materials.

Due to its red filtered flashlight illumination the room transforms itself during nighttime into an intriguing somehow obscene red lantern in the dark.
The room interior can be hidden or emphasized by the user, an opportunity to show-off or to tease.

‘The Hedonist’ reflects the good or the evil, the white or red, the opacity or the transparency, the shyness or the exhibitionism. It is a room where you can bring all of this inside or proudly show it to the outside.

Courtesy of Nuno Pimenta.