We have squats. Switzerland has Null Stern Hotel.
Essentially it's one very large conceptual art piece as egalitarian sociology experiment as place to stay when you're f***ing tired after a long day of being a tourist.
NS's basic accomodations, when francs are converted to dollars, still hover right around the $9.00 mark. The 'luxury' package is eleven francs or roughly ten U.S. dollars.
According to the Null Stern website proper the first hotel of its kind--both in the type of hotel itself and the existence of one in the commune of Sevelen (well, municipality, but isn't it still kinda interesting how the Swiss refer to it so innocently as a commune when its governmental model is similar enough to a consensus democracy anyway it really needn't be called one?)--opened on June 5th. Now its humble few citizens will not just have a place to sleep tonight; they'll also have a place to get a hot shower...if they're lucky enough to win the Glucksrad, a bicycle wheel fashioned into a wheel of fortune the guests have to spin to see who gets the first hot shower of the day. The first and only hot shower of the day.
Local twin brother artists Frank and Patrik Riklin really needed lodging for some guest musicians playing gigs at the local cultural center. Trouble is there wasn't enough space for a new hotel or any lodging establishment in the municipality in the constituency of Werdenberg in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland (hey, it's from Wikipedia). So Sevelen's local authorities commissioned a Swiss Army civil defense bunker and moved in 54 roughly twin mattress sized beds and a few Biedermeiers--the beds that come with the 'luxury package'--from condemned hotels outside the municipality.
As if the Riklin's philosophy in the reckoning of Null Stern and its status as the world's only zero-star hotel isn't patently clear from the photos by now, less is more. A feverish chill in the air can be expediently remedied by bottles of hot water hung on lines along the wall. You can tuck in a set of conveniently furnished premium ear plugs in case the sound of the fans is really getting to you. The ice rink coagulating on the floor from the lack of central heating will be much easier to negotiate with the help of Null Stern's famous treadless slippers.
And you can stop looking for the windows. Need to have a sneak at how hard it's snowing outside? Video monitor out in the lobby.
What Null Stern lacks in the luxury of a jacuzzi that fits ONE and continental breakfast of tough pancakes and crunchy sausage it makes up for in what you don't expect from it. Which is to say, what you really gain from it. Conversation, real conversation, with complete strangers (and those you've just met for the first time) and at least a springboard toward a very workable model of sustainable living.
Or sustaining an extra night smelling like ten day-old ass because Spanky on the other side of the room got the hot shower on the morning you were supposed to check out.