Form or function in hotel design

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The hotel I’m staying at in Lisbon is one of the most beautifully designed rooms I’ve ever stayed in. It’s also the worst designed hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.

  • The closet doors stretch to the ceiling and are positioned so that when the door is open, the only light near the closet is hidden behind the door, leading to a dark closet.

  • The closet door handles are about 2 feet off the ground, which is probably fine if you’re 4 feet tall.

  • The shower stall is doorless, with a half partition. The faucet controls are at the far back, meaning you have to stand in the shower and get sprayed by cold water to turn it on.

  • The half partition in the shower is not enough to keep the water in, so after the shower, you’re standing in puddles of water.

  • The towel hooks are above a small ledge at the back of the shower. This ledge ends up a large puddle, and the hooks are just low enough that 2 inches of towel has to sit in the puddle.

  • The wall between the bathroom and the rest of the room is semi-transparent glass. Hope you’re OK with anyone you’re sharing the room with seeing you take a shower and use the toilet.

  • The sink is very shallow and the faucet very high. If there’s a way to turn it on without getting splashed by water, I haven’t found it.

  • The desk is in a narrow alcove, just about as wide as the desk chair. The desk chair is heavy, on a rough tile floor, and has no wheels. It’s an acrobatic adventure getting in and out of it.

Form should follow function. It doesn’t matter how beautiful something is if it’s unusable.


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