Lionel Jadot assembles 52 designers to create custom interior for Mix Brussels hotel

Mix Brussels hotel bar

An iconic 1960s office block in Brussels has become a hotel, featuring an interior designed by architect Lionel Jadot using only custom-made furniture and objects.

Set to open today, Mix Brussels takes over the listed former headquarters of La Royale Belge, the insurance company now known as AXA.

Mix hotel fireplace
Lionel Jadot designed a sculptural fireplace for the lobby of Mix Brussels

The conversion of the 25,000-square-metre building was overseen by a team of architects made up of London-based Caruso St John, Antwerp-based Bovenbouw Architectuur and Brussels studios DDS+ and MA2.

Brussels-based Jadot assembled a team of 52 designers and makers (including himself) to kit out the interior with furniture, installations and sculptures that were all designed specifically.

Mix Brussels hotel room
The hotel has 180 rooms, all filled with custom-made objects

Almost everything, from the chairs to the doorknobs, is the work of an independent artist or designer.

"We wanted to create something different so that when you enter, nothing is normal," Jadot told Dezeen.

"Nothing is from a catalogue, nothing is seen on Instagram," he said. "Everything is custom-made in Belgium specifically for this project, by a big family of designers working together."

Mix Brussels hotel in former La Royale Belge headquarters
The hotel is located in the listed former headquarters of La Royale Belge

The four-star hotel includes 180 rooms and suites, three restaurants, a food market, a co-working space, an auditorium and a health club.

To win such a large commission, Jadot enlisted all of the designers from Zaventem Ateliers, a creative hub he founded in 2018 in a former paper factory on the outskirts of the city.

hotel lobby featuring reception desk by Maison Jonckers and lamp by Lionel Jadot
The hotel features a brass reception desk created by Maison Armand Jonckers

Zaventem Ateliers brings together 25 creatives in a collaborative environment that supports the creation of limited-edition and collectable art and design.

When a design competition for the project was announced, Jadot convinced them that the hotel could become a celebration of the city's craft culture.

Mix Brussels hotel
Arthur Vandergucht's aluminium RB Tables furnish the hotel lobby

"This building is really iconic for Brussels and I have been in love with it since the age of 10," he said.

"Every Friday, my mum would drive us past it on the way to my grandmother's house. I thought there was something about it that was really special," he recalled.

"I told the team that we needed to be the ones to do this project," Jadot added.

As well as the existing members of Zaventem Ateliers, he also enlisted 27 other creatives to collaborate with them on the fit-out.

Concrete diagrid ceiling
The hotel includes a health club

The overriding concept, Jadot explained, was to create interiors that complemented the sculptural qualities of the building's distinctive concrete-framed interior.

"The idea was always to have a horizontality in the creation," he said. "It was not for me to tell them how to work; the point was for them to feel free to pitch something."

Mix Brussels hotel bedroom window
Bedrooms feature curtains by KRJST Studio and tables by Pierre-Emmanuel Vandeputte

The contributing designers from Zaventem Ateliers include Maison Armand Jonckers, which produced the engraved brass reception desk, and Arno Declercq, who built a monumental blackened-wood sculpture.

Artist Thomas Serruys created wooden stools that can be found throughout, while designer Adeline Halot produced lampshades for the hotel lobby and sculptural mirrors for the bedrooms.

Mix Brussels hotel bedroom
Other additions include mirrors by Jonas Moënne and nightlights by Studio Elementaires

Among the lighting designs, eco-materials specialist Roxane Lahidji produced pendant lamps from salt, while Studio Elementaires created stylish nightlights.

Textile works include printed curtains and weavings by KRJST Studio, who teamed up with designer Emma Cognée, and tapestries by La Gadoue Atelier.

Jadot's own contributions include a fireplace installation and various chairs, while other notable additions include a papier-mâché artwork by Papier Boulette, tables by designer Pierre Coddens and foam seats by artist duo Touche-Touche.

Mix Brussels hotel lamp by Roxane Lahidji
Roxane Lahidji produced pendant lamps from salt

The opening of MIX Brussels aims to help cement the city's reputation as a hotspot for collectable art and design.

As well as hosting annual fair Collectible, the city recently saw design gallery Maniera and contemporary art gallery Xavier Hufkens both expand their presences.

Lionel Jadot teamed up with Woit Foundry to create the custom knobs in the bathrooms
Lionel Jadot and Woit Foundry created the custom knobs in the bathrooms

Jadot hopes the project will defy expectations of hospitality design, showing that it is possible for this industry to support local creative talent on a large scale.

"A lot of hotels opening today just order poor quality furniture from other countries, then after a few years, everything is destroyed," he said. "It's not a good way to do it."

Key to the alternative approach, Jadot said, was that the investors trusted him to project-manage the process.

Mix Brussels meeting room
A papier-mâché artwork by Papier Boulette features in a meeting room

He is proud that, unlike most new hotels, the completed interior is difficult to put a date on. He sees this as a sign that it will last a long time.

"You don't know really if this project was born today or yesterday," he said.

"We have created this combination, even though we totally avoided vintage. We only have collectable contemporary design, but it's a really special mix."

The post Lionel Jadot assembles 52 designers to create custom interior for Mix Brussels hotel appeared first on Dezeen.