Cheers to the aliens: Sci-Fi Hotel, Giger Bar coming to US?
Sci-Fi Hotel founder Andy Davies teams up with "Alien" artist H.R. Giger to open a hotel bar, yet where it will land is still unknown.
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
When Andy Davies, founder of Sci-Fi Hotel, decided to move forward with plans to build a "cat tree for geeks" (his words), it seemed a no-brainer that he would have to include an out-of-this-world bar to toast his accomplishment.
To this end, Davies set up a meeting with Swiss artist H.R. Giger to talk about bringing a version of Switzerland's famous Giger Bar to the United States.
The H.R. Giger Bar is a work of art in itself, boasting a comprehensive "Alien" biomechanical environment -- from floor to ceiling to furniture -- all designed by the artist.
In addition to the bar at the Chateau St. Germain in Gruyeres (which opened in 2003), there's also one in Giger's birthplace of Chur, Switzerland, (which opened in 1992). The Gruyeres location is also part of the Museum H.R. Giger.
At one time, there was a Giger-inspired bar in Tokyo, Japan, and a Giger-designed VIP room at the Limelight in New York City; however, both venues closed for various reasons.
Davies plans to use key elements of the Gruyeres bar to fit the perfect space for his Sci-Fi Hotel in the US. According to Davies, Giger and his team will be involved in the process and sign off on its completion.
"What I envision for the US bar is taking the key elements of Giger Bar Gruyeres, the biomechanical ceiling arches, and reforming them to fit a space here," Davies told Crave. "Matching those design elements with the same style of furniture, the bar -- well, pretty much replicating the whole thing. The important thing for me is total authenticity. I want Giger and his team to be totally involved. This will be a Giger work of art, not just a copy, but the real thing. That's really important to H.R. Giger and to me."
Fans of the Giger know that his ship interiors and creature designs on the movie "Alien" are anything but cozy, but Davies thinks the unique design of the Giger Bar will give patrons the kind of experience that will give them an other-worldly feeling.
"It's the ultimate in 'immersive' art," Davies said. "Day and night, inside Giger Bar, you are enveloped within the womb of a mythical beast. It's warm, inviting, even comforting, and just incredibly cool. Another key to the experience for me is contrast. It's about contrast, juxtaposition. That feeling is something I want to convey in the US bar, by contrasting old versus new, clean versus biomechanical. It's what made the original 'Alien' film such a success -- that incredible derelict spaceship, which appeared to be biomechanical in design -- that and the alien itself is such a contrast to the chunky lines of the spaceships. That's what the bar does for me, it's an out-of-this-world feeling, yet welcoming, super fun, and hard to leave!"
In addition to the Giger Bar, Davies is in the process of designing his ultimate Sci-Fi Hotel, which he describes as "an architectural and stylistic celebration of science fiction, a creative and technological showcase that features classic, retro, and futuristic science-fiction interior design, art, books, and movies in guestrooms and public spaces for a completely 'immersive' experience."
The Sci-Fi Hotel will include one-of-a-kind wall art, artist commissions, and media installations; unique room configurations; comprehensive sci-fi movie, television, and gaming on-demand and book/comic library; signature food and beverage and entertainment outlets; an exclusive retail merchandise selection; and the Giger Bar installation.
While there have yet to be any decisions made on where Davies' Sci-Fi Hotel and Giger Bar will call home, he's got a few contenders lined up.
"Right now it's Seattle and New York, with San Francisco, New Orleans, and Chicago following closely behind," Davies said. "But I also see a fit in the middle of the New Mexico desert at Spaceport USA. If you're gonna build a spaceport-looking hotel, might as well build it at a spaceport, right? Imagine the sci-fi conventions out there; those would truly be out there!"
Currently seeking real estate and investment partners in the US, Sci-Fi Hotel hopes to announce its first US location for Giger Bar and for Sci-Fi Hotel in early 2014.