Miniview: Hotel NiederSachsen, Höxter, Lower Saxony

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    Spa hotels in Germany can represent for the inhibited Englishperson something of a cultural shock, as for most Germans swimming or having steam or sauna treatments is taken nude. The spa areas are separate in this hotel, and for obvious reasons were not photographed in what was a casual discovery of a very good traditional German hotel. I love the hotels that are true to their locality and its traditions, boast of the vernacular, and the Hotel Niedersachsen does that superbly well.

    “.a building… guided by a series of conventions built up in his locality, paying little attention to what may be fashionable. The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal. Local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and imported quite exceptionally”

    Brunskill, R.W. (2006) [1985]. Traditional Buildings of Britain: An Introduction to Vernacular Architecture

    “The term vernacular is derived from the Latin vernaculus, meaning “domestic, native, indigenous”;

    definition in Wikipedia
    Unlike Brunskill however, I believe the vernacular can be done with both style and panache.

    The Hotel Niedersachsen does both. Not only does it manage to be vernacular with style, but it has also done it at intervals over time. It is not all as it should (or even could) be of course, that is sometimes the nature of the vernacular, but much of the interiors were done, in different eras, with a style which has stood the test of time, and the current extensions promise to carry the same longevity as they are done in the same vernacular traditions. In Höxter of course they have much to live up to, as you will see.

    Daniel Fountain / 08.01.2013

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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