Simply artilicious

September, 2013


Marcel Wanders’ exquisite design for Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht provides the perfect setting for the hotel’s stunning video art collection.

For connoisseurs of fine art, no other desti­nation in the world matches Amsterdam.

The city boasts of some of the most beautiful art museums in the world. And it is not just the museums of the city that celebrate art – with opening of Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, visitors can now feast their eyes upon one of the biggest collections of video art installations in their hotel itself! This new hotel, which has all the magnificence of a king’s palace and an added artsy appeal, has been built on the site of a former public library on the Prinsengracht, which means the “Emperor’s Canal”.

‘Wander’ful designs

Located in the cultural heart of Amsterdam, the hotel is surrounded by the creative scene and dynamic character of a lively neigh­bourhood. The exterior of the hotel has an ‘Alice in Amsterdam’-like graffiti, depicting a girl with a blue spoon in her hand, symbolic of a restaurant of the same name in the hotel. The lobby gives an indication of the wonders that lie within. Oversized bells encase the chandeliers, while the installation modelled on a constellation of stars and planets intrigues the viewer. Reminiscent of astronomy, the suspended objects and lights are positioned below a large skylight. Also, many such unique life-size human sculptures dot different areas in the hotel.

A distinct shade of blue runs throughout the space; for those familiar with the ‘One Minute Delft Blue’ collection, it immediately declares the identity of the person responsible for the design of this hotel – who is none other than renowned Dutch interior and product designer Marcel Wanders.

The master’s touch

The hotel has 122 guestrooms (including five suites), a signature spa and an in-house restaurant and bar, Bluespoon. Each and every element of the hotel is imprinted with Wanders’ distinct style, which reflects a modern and adventurous view of Dutch history and local culture.

The blue palette continues into the dining areas and guest rooms. These spaces also showcase many of Wanders’ creativity, such as the ‘Monster Chairs’ designed for Moooi and the ‘Venus Chairs’ designed for Poliform. The wallpapers in the hotel reflect the wisdom derived from the books that once rested in the public library. There is a unique fish mural, the middle section of which connects two elements that seem to have no connection at all. Such oblique, unconventional designs arouse curiosity and delight in onlookers.

Signature designs

The rooms in this hotel are reasonably large for a space-starved city like Amsterdam. An open plan layout allows maximum natural light to percolate through the hotel. The bathrooms, too, feature an open structure, except the closed shower and toilet. A multi-functional vanity centrepiece in concrete gives the bathrooms a special, unique touch.

In line with the overall design concept of the hotel, the rooms reflect a view of Dutch history and feature small custom details to create the desired environment. Striking elements include the oversized book-shaped work desk, unique wallpaper, and the hand-painted washbasin in Wanders’ signature “One Minute Delft Blue” style. The specially designed, comfortable reading chair, a full-length mirror, and a walk-in closet complete the picture.

Outright art

A major part of the hotel’s overall design concept incorporates a unique video art collection that represents a diversion from regular art. The 40 works from various emerging and established video artists such as Ryan Gander, Erwin Olaf and Mark Titchner make Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht the hotel with the largest video art collection in the world.

Depending on the work’s level of intensity and outspokenness, selections from the video art collection are showcased in different areas of the hotel – in the public areas of the ground floor, in the hallways throughout the various floors, or through a special video channel available on the televisions in the guestrooms. The largest display screen for the presentation of video footage is located in the lounge and is comprised of nine 60-inch televisions.

In dark corridors on every floor, video-art can be found on the walls, allowing guests to wander the hallways as if they are in a museum.

Making a statement

The in-house restaurant and bar Bluespoon has an out-and-out counteractive theme to the pro­hibition era in the US, which banned the sale of alcohol. Taking the concept further, cocktails of three different eras are served here – pre-prohibition, prohibition, and post-prohibition. The design of the hotel extends the Delft blue colour to the ceiling and the walls. One wall features a large scale “One Minute Delft Blue” mosaic and another wall features custom hand-crafted wooden panels with animal heads carved into them. The chef’s table has show plates that will be freshly designed by Wanders every year, with a limited edition of 200 pieces. Throughout the hotel, Wanders has drawn upon various sources of inspiration, integrating the heritage of the hotel’s surroundings into the interiors. These include the Golden Age, Dutch Delft blue, tulips and the colour orange to infuse the rich, free-spirited, diverse cultural character of the city into the hotel.

The hotel keeps alive the memories of the former public library, and connects polarities to create a design so unique, that guests with a taste for bold, innovative art will make the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht an art destination in its own right!


Marcel Wanders, Tel: +31 (0)20 422 13 39, Fax: +31 (0)20 681 50 56, E-mail:

Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengracht Tel: +31 (0) 20 523 1234, Fax: +31 (0) 20 523 1235, E-mail: