Amsterdam: a prison becomes a hotel run by refugees

1 min reading time

Published on 19/04/18 - Updated on 17/03/22

The Movement Hotel is located in a former prison and is run by asylum seekers and refugees.

The refugee crisis in Europe launches the pop-hotel project The Movement Hotel. With refugees struggling to find shelter and employment, the Movement On The Ground Foundation, which helps victims of humanitarian crises meet their needs, wanted to go further.

It is thus at the origin of a new initiative: to entrust the management of the former Bijlmerbajes prison in Amsterdam, converted into a hotel, to these refugees and asylum seekers.

The prison cells were transformed into minimalist guest rooms while the laundry was transformed into a café. Refugees from the neighbouring asylum centre were hired as hotel employees, a way for them to reintegrate into society.

The Dutch design firm Èmcé Interior Architecture is at the origin of the transformation from a dark prison to a colourful living space. The entrance hall and reception are adorned with bright pink and red, the courtyard with screaming green while the rooms have been arranged with more neutral colours such as grey and white.

Symbols like "Freedom?" slogans decorating the place encourages guests and employees "to think of their freedom".

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