Veuve Clicquot's Jetlag Sleeping Capsule Debuts at Design Miami
Anyone who was fortunate enough to spend twenty minutes relaxing in the modernistic sleeping capsule in Veuve Clicquot's "Once Upon a Dream" exhibit at DesignMiami this past week, was probably not the same afterward. Indeed, the innovative sleep capsule was created by famed designer Mathieu Lehanneur who studied the research of noted sleep specialists in order to design a space that evokes resynchronization through touch, sight, smell and sound.
The Once Upon a Dream sleep capsule was commissioned by the renowned champagne house (the Luxist Awards' Readers Choice Winner for Best Champagne) in anticipation of the upcoming re-opening of the Hôtel du Marc in Reims, France. Hôtel du Marc (see image below) is the private mansion where Veuve Clicquot hosts as many as 3,000 overnight guests who travel from around the world to visit its headquarters where it makes its famous champagne.
Not only is the one-of-a-kind sleep capsule striking in design, but it also serves a higher purpose: for every twenty minutes spent sleeping inside it, one hour of jet lag is erased. If one hour is spent inside the capsule, the side effects related to three hours of jet lag disappear.
The sleeping pod is designed to be used from as little as twenty minutes to as long as a full night. "You basically have the best sleep you have ever had," says Stephane Gerschel, head of global communications for Veuve Clicquot. The capsule provides ideal conditions, from precisely the right temperatures to the right lighting. A hanging live plant powered with a low grade current flowing through it, doubles as a dimmer. "Touch it and the lights will dim," adds Gerschel.
The sleeping capsule, which was manufactured in Italy, is actually a nod to Madam Clicquot-Ponsardin, the longtime owner of Veuve Clicquot. Not only was she a notorious insomniac, but Madam Clicquot-Ponsardin was also a noted innovator. In 1816 she invented the first riddling table, which made it possible to ensure a crystal-clear wine. The process continues to be used today.
While the Hôtel du Marc is not a hotel, Veuve Clicquot wanted to offer a special amenity to its visiting guests, according to Gerschel. The eight-bedroom mansion was built in 1840 by Madame Clicquot-Ponsardin and her business partner Edouard Werlé. For the past three years, it has been closed for an extensive multi-year renovation. Hôtel du Marc is scheduled to re-open in September 2011.
The sleeping capsule is not the only addition to the Hôtel du Marc. In its garden, guests will be entertained in a "Gloriette", a reinterpretation of the 19th-century kiosks (see image below). Commissioned by Veuve Clicquot, the Gloriette was designed by the Brazilian-born Campana brothers, Humberto and Fernando. First exhibited at Milan Design Week in April, the tasting Gloriette will serve as a space where guests to the Hôtel du Marc will enjoy a glass of champagne and music. It is made of a Brazilian wood that is threaded with stainless steel painted in Veuve Clicquot's signature yellow. "The Campana brothers designed a new take on this long forgotten way to enjoy a glass of champagne," says Gerschel. "The idea was to recreate the way people enjoyed the garden back when the house was originally built."
Veuve Clicquot's renovation of the Hôtel du Marc makes it the first historical monument in France to undergo this level of environmental quality improvements. The most efficient renewable energy techniques available are being used, and when it reopens, the building will be a showcase operating 85% on renewable energy and 15% on natural gas. The renovation is in keeping with the country's historical monuments guidelines which are very strict. Most of the improvements will be hidden from sight, says Gerschel.