Made On Earth — Pipe Dreams

Craft & Design


In a public park near the German city of Essen, on redeveloped industrial land about 30 miles east of the Dutch border, there is a very unusual hotel. Conceived by Austrian artist Andreas Strauss and implemented by a team of administrators and web developers, including Gunda Wiesner, Georg Brunader, Olivia Schütz, Claudia Kogler, and Nikolaus Diemannsberger, Dasparkhotel is a pay-what-you-want travel lodge with five rooms, each built from a 20,000-pound section of 7-foot-diameter concrete drain pipe.

The rear of each pipe section is sealed, and the front has a door with a pushbutton code lock. Reservations, available from May through October of each year, are made online and confirmed with an email contain-ing a code that will unlock the right door on the reserved days. Staff appear on site only to clean and turn the rooms, and collect whatever payment travelers leave behind.

Each room has a raised plywood sleeping platform topped with a foam double mattress, which fills most of the pipe, along with a cabinet full of fresh sheets and pillows. A round skylight provides natural lighting during the day, and a small bedside lamp allows for nighttime reading. The curvature of the pipe under the bed makes for a handy place to store luggage, and the rear wall of each room is decorated with a hand-painted mural.

The rooms are wired with European-standard 220V power, and each provides a single AC outlet for using and chargingpersonal electronics. There are no dedicated toilets, showers, food vendors, or water supplies, but all are readily available in the surrounding public space.

German Hospitality:

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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