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This month, the Swedish design company Vipp launched a new model in hospitality—a hotel with rooms at different locations (with a plan to expand to more destinations in the works). The first two rooms, Vipp Shelter and Vipp Loft, can be experienced in Immeln, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark, respectively.
Vipp began in 1939 when Holger Nielsen created the perfect pedal-controlled bin (now in MoMA’s permanent design collection). With a guiding principle of good design and minimal waste, the family-run business has grown to develop products for the kitchen, bathroom, and home.
A similar approach is behind its hotel concept. “Our destinations share the same goal. We want to invite people to experience firsthand our philosophy of good design in a place out of the ordinary,” said Vipp CEO Kasper Egelund.
To learn more about the hotel, we spoke with the company’s Creative Director, Morten Bo Jensen, who’s responsible for Vipp Shelter.
WHITEWALL: What kind of environment did you want to create at Vipp Shelter?
MORTEN BO JENSEN: A shelter in its original sense has connotations of basic living serving a merely functional purpose and attending to our primal need of having a roof over our head. The shelter includes all the necessities and nothing more. The shelter is an invitation to check-in and tune-out. We call it a human-charging-station.
WW: What kind of connection did you want to create with nature?
MBJ: The starting point of the Vipp Shelter is going back to basics; back to nature in a dense, compact space wrapped in the Vipp DNA. The landscape is purposely framed, turning it into the predominant element of the interior space. Each piece of interior and its dominant dark tones are carefully selected in order to keep focus on nature. The sliding window frames accentuate the sensation of living in nature by blurring the distinction between indoor and outdoor space.
WW: Vipp Shelter looks to have just the essentials. What are those essentials, for you?
MBJ: A fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. We have no TV, but offer widescreen to nature. We have no hotel pool, but offer a dip in the lake from the private jetty. The essential part of the experience is to recharge in a pleasant and functional environment. You can say that nature is the second guest with whom we invite you to interact, e.g. by offering canoe rental further down the lake.
WW: What has been the most challenging aspect of Vipp for you?
MBJ: Ensuring that every element serves a purpose and is highly functional in itself. The outer steel grid contains 10,000 screws, and every single one of them serves a purpose. Function is key, and there is a necessity behind every detail.
WW: What is your design must-have?
MBJ: A Leica camera, a Vipp salt and pepper set, a black-colored wardrobe
WW: What personal object best represents your taste?
MBJ: My Vipp pedal bin embodies my obsession with functional design. Every item I design for Vipp is inspired by the form-follows-function principles found in Holger Nielsen’s bin from 1939.
WW: How do you unwind after a long day in the studio?
MBJ: I unwind with my 10-year old twin daughters. For some reason, they always have an agenda.