From prison to luxury hotels (and more): where once there was sorrow and sin, today luxury has taken over, often building on architectures that are unique…
A trend, a way of interpreting a space, a challenge: call it which way you want, lately we have seen spaces that once were prisons converted into beautiful buildings that serve many purposes, certainly all luxury related. Swide’s list to the must-see.
Librije’s Hotel, Zwolle, Netherlands
Librije’s Hotel is the smallest five-star hotel in the Netherlands and offers its guests what Jonnie en Thérèse describe as the “ultimate hotel experience”. After having restored and renovated the ex-prison of Zwolle, a monumental building from the beginning of the eighteenth century, the hotel opened in 2008.
Four Seasons, Istanbul, Turkey
At Sultanahmet, in an ancient city bounded by the mystic waters of the Golden Horn, Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus, find 65 Istanbul luxury hotel rooms and suites housed in a century-old neoclassical Turkish prison. Four Seasons is just steps from Istanbul's most important landmarks in Sultanahmet.
Cultural Center, Palencia, Spain
Through a project of conversion of the prison’s complex from 19th century by Exit Architects, formed by Ángel Sevillano and José Tabuyo, this town in Northern Spain has succeeded in creating a contemporary space that enriches its neighborhood without forgetting its history. It is, in fact, used as the headquarters of a new cultural centre, with an auditorium and a library.
Hotel Latvian, Liepaja, Latvia
As they say, 'less is more', and It is definitely the case with this “hotel” in Latvia, built from an ex-KGB prison. No need to use your imagination here, as you will live exactly the oppressive atmosphere that reigned during the regime. Cold, uncomfortable, and rude, the place has no heating and the toilet is made of three holes on the ground. Sometimes luxury can mean depriving yourself of the most important things knowing you can come back to those any time you want…
Isola di Långholmen, Stockholm, Sweden
A former prison that was closed down in 1975, situated on an Island in the centre of Stockholm, today is a modern hotel with newly renovated "cells" and conference suite. Outside the hotel's entrance, there is a delightful beach and jogging circuits in a culture-historical environment, together with the prison museum.