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Secret Rooms at Volkshotel

The Volkshotel’s annual location theatre festival, Secret Rooms is coming up on February 26, with a special surprise in the You Are Here suite.

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Text by Debbie Loots
Photography by Mark Groeneveld

The yearly Secret Rooms festival transforms the entire Volkshotel in Amsterdam into a theatre for one day, Sunday February 26. Expect bands in the elevators, monologues in hotel rooms, performance art in the smoky basement and much more in the conference rooms, rooftop area and other hidden spaces.

One particularly saucy surprise lays in wait in You Are Here, one of the 9 Special Rooms each installed with a bespoke concept design in 2014. Designed by Buro Curious and Linde Ex, the You Are Here room has hidden projectors that beam images of Amsterdam’s most celebrated locations across its completely white walls – like Prinseneiland and Café ‘t Mandje.

“Creating interactive concepts is our expertise,” says Swaantje Nijkamp from Buro Curious, which specialises in experiential design. It lets us look at a design in a different way (than for instance, an architect or designer). But how does one make a hotel room interactive? We decided to create a blank hotel room and invite the guests to colourise it.”

Recently Buro Curious added a naughty peek into a window of Amsterdam’s Red Light District to these screenings, promising to transport you onto a thrilling, new adventure just by pressing a button. They worked with two performers from Just Another Prophecy to record several seduction scenes in front of green screen, with the assistance of Mark Thewessen.

“The idea of the duality of seducing and being seduced was an interesting starting point for this new experience,” says Nijkamp. “In other experiences, we tried to catch the reality, but this new experience gave us the opportunity to ‘project’ a new perspective on the red light district.”

Short of booking the You Are Here room for the night, the Secret Rooms festival on February 26 gives visitors the opportunity to see the result, as part of a special performance developed for the occasion and called Where Are You?

You are here 3 photo Mark Groeneveld
You-Are-Here-Volkshotel-photo-Mark-Groeneveld_MGF686115
You are here 1 photo Mark Groeneveld
You are here 2 photo Mark Groeneveld
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