With a nascent space tourism sector looking to move humankind into orbit sometime this decade, why not ponder a museum-quality art collection while we gaze from a space hotel at beautiful planet Earth? ArtRatio Guest Writer, Chloe Aboud, tells us more.
Scheduled to open in 2027, the world plans to welcome its first space hotel. Known as The Voyager Station, this commercial space hotel hopes to accommodate 280 guests and 112 crew members.
In the current ‘lockdown’ climate, dreaming of travelling abroad seems far-fetched, never mind indulging yourself in a stratospheric vacation. The Orbital Assembly Corporation’s mission is to be the Spaceline for Earth – focusing on using space for good, alongside delivering an unparalleled customer experience.
While still in the midst of the planning stage, 3D drawings of the space hotel evoke excitement as the interior design is more reminiscent of a cruise ship or luxury liner rather than your typically styled spaceship.
As it stands, there is no available room rate for The Voyager Station, although one would imagine it to come at a fairly exclusive price point considering Virgin Galactic plans to launch passengers into sub-orbital space at $250,000 per person.
However, luxury space travel is not a new phenomenon. Virgin Galactic is already the world’s first commercial aerospace company which aims to develop a new generation of space vehicles with a mission to “open space for everyone”.
An array of competitors are competing to activate this ‘space Industry’. As soon as Elon Musk launches Starship – a 100-passenger spaceship which will instigate the transportation system to and from a Mars settlement – The Orbital Assembly Corporation wants to be ready to host their first space hotel guests.
Art Collections in Space?
There is one decorative element that features in all luxury hotels, and that is art.
Predictively, it may also be a prominent feature of The Voyager Station, whose interior design promotes luxurious comfort.
Although, thoughts do wander towards the ethics of removing artwork from earth and propelling it thousands of miles into the atmosphere… but that is definitely an argument for another day!
Let’s look at the longstanding and symbiotic relationship between art and luxury hotels across the globe.
Art and Luxury Hotels
The art that adorns a hotel’s interior is crucial to formulating its visual identity. Grand Hotels have always been artistic hubs.
Often referred to as London’s ‘Greatest Hotel’, the Savoy for example, was home to the well-known Claude Monet for six months. During his time on the sixth floor of the Savoy, he painted views of Charing Cross and Waterloo Bridge.
One such depiction of Monet’s Charing Cross Bridge achieved $27,600,000 during a Sotheby’s auction in 2019. This in-house residency existed as artists sought lodgement and hotels accepted artwork in return.
To this day, some of the most outstanding art collections adorn the walls of hotels across the globe.
The Fife Arms, located in Scotland, is one such hotel and is home to an outstanding art collection with over 16,000 antiques and 12,000 artworks. Picasso and George Richter are among some of the notable names in the collection. The hotel itself was founded by two gallerists passionate about collecting fine art and antiques.
Similarly, The Great Eastern Hotel in London partnered with the Whitechapel Art Gallery to curate the art adorning the lobby. Franko B’s neon sign reading ‘You make my heart go boom boom’, sits above the front desk with the intention of lifting the spirits of even the weariest traveller.
Art integrates with the interior design when it comes to establishing a hotel’s unique personality. Some luxury hotels have even permanently liaised with galleries, cementing the concept that art and luxury vacationing go hand in hand.
Located in the depths of the Tulum jungle, SFER IK is a contemporary museum funded by the Azulik Hotel. The gallery and hotel are a combination of craftsmanship and architectural mastery, which is seen in the hand carved wooden beams and thatched ceilings that form the surreal-like design of the contemporary gallery and luxurious hotel.
Similarly, 21C Museum Hotels, centred around a multi-venue contemporary art museum, can be found throughout the USA. They boast free public access to each hotel’s collection. Rotating exhibitions and site-specific commissioned installations are prominent features of this hotel chain.
Luxury Space Tourism and Art
The luxury hotel aesthetic is always accentuated by art.
Captivating collections make for even more bespoke experiences. In theory, The Voyager Station – marketed to be similar to a cruise ship experience with additional panoramic views of our blue planet – may indeed display its own unique art collection.
The transport of art and antiquities across borders and jurisdictions is always a cause for concern, so launching valuable artwork into outer space will surely raise eyebrows.
In theory, ‘space art’ may follow the same insurance and procedures as art on superyachts does. For now, all one can do is wait in anticipation for the construction of this immense technological achievement.
About the Author
Chloe is an art historian, fine art connoisseur and art market analyst. She holds a BA in The History of Art & Architecture and French from Trinity College, Dublin. She also holds an MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. She is a member of the Irish Association of Art Historians and has also worked with a variety of private art corporations such as Art on Superyachts and ArtRatio.