Built in the 1920s as a hotel for emigrants, then a long-time prison, and now in a third transition, the Lloyd Hotel is located in the recently redeveloped eastern harbour area of Amsterdam. Whilst the meaning of the word guest has changed several times, it now offers comfort for travellers and provides a public dining room for guests and the neighbours in the adjacent new housing area.
Within the protected exterior of this national monument, a void was carved through the volume to open up the claustrophobic interior and to create a communal area for guests. It combines intimate spaces, used for meetings, reading, working, dining and drinking, with an open plan and a feeling of togetherness. The void also houses the so-called Cultural Embassy, which links all guests to a network of art and artists in Amsterdam – the speciality of the hotel.
The Cultural Embassy is surrounded by 120 rooms. They are all different. Varying from one to five stars. From cheap to expensive. From neat to exuberant. From working space to romantic shelter. From Spartan to Biedermeier. From classic to modern. From single to triple rooms. With single beds to giant ten-person beds. With hammock or normal beds. With separate bathrooms or with baths next to the beds. With separate showers or open showers in the middle of the rooms. With dark basement locations to attic rooms. And so on. It seeks to attract people too curious to resist returning.