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  6. AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann
AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann +21

  • Architects

  • Location

    France
  • Architects

    Pascal Hausermann
  • Text

    Mariana Timony

From the architect. The Museumotel is an unusual hotel to say the least. The group of white, round structures that make up the guest houses look like space pods crossed with hobbit holes, plopped down in the wooded landscape of northeastern France. 

The interiors are even more spacey: huge circular windows, dripping support columns, curving staircases, and arched doorways are common features. But while the design of these bubble houses is fascinating and unique, the story behind the Museumotel is even more so.

In 1965, hotelier M. Thierry read an article about a hip young architect named Pascal Hausermann; a graduate of the University of Geneva. Hausermann was a proponent of a new type of architecture: quick, inexpensive habitations made of concrete that he called “bubble houses”. 

Hausermann was also interested in urban planning and, throughout his life, advocated for new ways of organizing residential housing.

Motel de l’Eau Vive under construction in the mid 1960′s

M. Thierry managed a hotel in Raon l’Etape, a small commune in Lorraine. He was interested in having a motel built as a summer annex to his main business. 

The motel would be made up of a cluster of 9 domed bungalows set apart from the central building and surrounded on both sides by the La Plaine river; road access would be limited to a single bridge. The idea was to give hotel guests a sort of “small village” to stay in at the far end of the hotel’s property, where they could enjoy more peace and quiet.

Hausermann took the job and in 1966, the Motel de l’Eau Vive opened to great succes.

Memorabilia from the Motel de l’Eau Vive’s halcyon days

The ensuing decades took their toll on the Motel de l’Eau Vive. M. Thierry sold both his hotel and the attached motel in 1980, by which time Hausermann’s playful architectural style had fallen out of fashion. A succession of owners tried to keep the business going, but ultimately failed. 30 years after their initial conception, Hauserman’s bubble houses sat moldering in the woodlands, slowly disappearing behind untended vegetatio.

Motel de l’Eau Vive slowly decomposing after years of neglect

plan
plan

The motel was saved from decay in 2003 when it became a private residence. The town of Raon l’Etape, perhaps a bit nostalgic for theold place, asked the new owner to open a few of the bungalows to thepublic, after which the owner decided to sell off the property completely. 

That’s when a group of individuals with experience in the hospitality industry bought the property and relaunched the motel,which they re-named Museumotel: Le Motel d l’Utopie.

Museumotel Today

Museumotel has been fully renovated and brought up to modernstandards, though Hausermann’s distinctive design has been left untouched. The whole vibe is modernized pop art, updated for the hip traveller. The interior of each “bubble” has been redone in a theme and given a name such as “Love Bubble”, “Star Bubble”, “Fifties Bubble”, and “Zen Bubble”. Visitors are delighted with the hotel’s concept and have been renting out the bubble houses for weeks and even months at a time.

Architect Hausermann also seems pleased with the refurbished Museumotel (check out these photos of Hausermann in front of his hotel in both 1967 and 2009). Despite a long career creating residences in France and Switzerland, the Museumotel remains the only hotel he ever designed.

Redone interiors of the “Love” and “Orange” Bubble

The story of Museumotel is fascinating not only because it spans decades, but also because it shows how ahead of their time Thierry and Hausermann were when they conceived the hotel. 

The idea of an intimate hotel made up of individual structures built to give guests room to relax in their own private space may not seem that strange now, but it was far from ordinary in 1965. The current success of Museumotel really does demonstrate that a good idea is always in fashion.

The Museumotel has remains popular among design enthusiasts and architecture lovers in the Raon l’Etape area. Recently, a group of 6 students from a nearby technical college made a 1/2 scale model of one of the bubble houses. It was delivered to the Museumotel, where it looks like the mini-bubble is to be used as a children’s space.

This article was originally written for Been Seen

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Andrew Rosenberg. "AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann" 15 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/134690/ad-classics-museumotel-pascal-hausermann/>
Read comments

49 Comments

Hugo Martinez · August 01, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://t.co/YLnXfsQ vía @archdaily

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://t.co/nN6ePfp vía @archdaily

architetende · June 03, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://feedly.com/k/jzdHcI

Yan Gu · May 27, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily http://t.co/67SYDbZ via @archdaily

Carel Munoz · May 26, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://goo.gl/cJnw9

Ethel Baraona Pohl · May 22, 2011

Visiter un classique architectural: Museumotel, par Pascal Hausermann | http://ow.ly/4ZK1p /via @urbain_

Urbain, trop urbain · May 22, 2011

[Best of] Visiter un classique architectural: Museumotel, par Pascal Hausermann http://ow.ly/4ZK1p

John Lander · May 18, 2011

RT @VinaMist Museumotel by architects Pascal Hausermann > http://is.gd/Sv18v9 via @ArchDaily @cookitaly @EscapeIntoLife #design

michael wilson · May 18, 2011

i think this is beautiful and should be more common than it currently is .were are the creative architects all making little boxes how sad.

Teia Pearson · May 18, 2011

Museumotel by architects Pascal Hausermann > http://is.gd/Sv18v9 via @ArchDaily @cookitaly @EscapeIntoLife #design

2 Poderes Tintas · May 18, 2011

igloos, bolhas ou uma vila de hoobits?! Confira este inusitado hotel na França http://ow.ly/4WoRs #arquitetura #design #decoração

Escape Into Life · May 18, 2011

Museumotel by architects Pascal Hausermann > http://is.gd/Sv18v9 via @ArchDaily @cookitaly #design

Urbain, trop urbain · May 18, 2011

Visiter un classique architectural: Museumotel, par Pascal Hausermann http://ow.ly/4VWk8

2 Poderes Tintas · May 18, 2011

Igloos, bolhas ou vila dos Hobbits?! Confira este diferente hotel na França. http://fb.me/KEdnDuqH

John haman · May 17, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily http://t.co/3XadxHB via @archdaily << ??????????????????? ?????????????????? 555

Brian Hammersley · May 17, 2011

courtesy of @ArchDaily- Museumotel by Pascal Hausermann. Architectural classic... ya dig? http://bit.ly/jSFG4R

Rajan Reddy · May 17, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily http://t.co/8Ee9L1Z via @archdaily

André Amaral · May 17, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily http://t.co/0GvjPqA via @archdaily

Noha Alahmadi · May 17, 2011

“@Talkitect: RT| AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © http://t.co/a8i7io3 @archdaily” l #futuristicarchitecture

Galina Sedova · May 17, 2011

RT| AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © Courtesy of HausermannArchitects: Pascal Hauserman... http://bit.ly/ipfFT1 @archdaily

ozlém · May 17, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily: http://bit.ly/jEBUKy via @addthis

ozlém · May 17, 2011

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Santi Maggio Savasta · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily http://t.co/ye6jq1U via @archdaily #Architecture #Architettura

Jean Cailhau · May 16, 2011

More pictures, history and comments (in french and english) at the motel website: www.museumotel.com/index.htm
Enjoy !

Mark Horner · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann | ArchDaily http://t.co/zU3kGHh via @archdaily

iarkitecture · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://bit.ly/jlJtgZ /v @archdaily

yuji haniyuda · May 16, 2011

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Fxmyr · May 16, 2011

RT| AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © Courtesy of HausermannArchitects: Pascal Hauserman... http://bit.ly/ipfFT1 @archdaily

up_today_arch · May 16, 2011

would be very interesting to see executive drawings, plans, sections ets...

Rafael Cubillo Bravo · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://t.co/uQHhh55 vía @archdaily

Travel Writer · May 16, 2011

RT| AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © Courtesy of HausermannArchitects: Pascal Hauserman... http://bit.ly/lVld4b @archdaily

jumbleh · May 16, 2011

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Angel · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © Courtesy of HausermannArchitects: Pascal Hausermann Locatio... http://tinyurl.com/6lazakh

Agung Suryono · May 16, 2011

The courage in choosing this design idea, proving that there are alternatives other than the form of a formal design to create a monumental and unique building....amazing

Architype Review · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: Architects: Pascal Hausermann Location: France Text: Mariana McCon... http://bit.ly/j2t8bC

Greg Shue · May 16, 2011

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Raquel Valdes · May 16, 2011

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arch_related · May 16, 2011

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Erik Joya · May 16, 2011

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GR2TF · May 16, 2011

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KidProgramGuide · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: via popurls.com http://bit.ly/ikR2WC

Jared E Wright · May 16, 2011

Oh the French. AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann #architecture http://pulsene.ws/1CQpR

Brandculture Sydney · May 16, 2011

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ArchitecturePassion · May 16, 2011

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Dennis Moss Jnr · May 16, 2011

"check out these photos of Hausermann in front of his hotel in both 1967 and 2009"... did you forget to add a link for this?

Jean Cailhau · May 16, 2011 09:13 PM
Architecture+Molding · May 16, 2011

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Lars van der Werf · May 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann http://archdai.ly/mQ5xQl #architecture

Bocetos Digitales · May 16, 2011

AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © Courtesy of HausermannArchitects: Pascal Hausermann Location: Fra... http://bit.ly/jeP9eY

r s · May 16, 2011

ArD AD Classics: Museumotel / Pascal Hausermann: © Courtesy of Hausermann Architects: Pascal… http://goo.gl/fb/oz8jk

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