Traditional hotel rooms must seem like a poor substitute for the comforts of 'home' for people who work and travel for extended periods. That's the premise behind Zoku, a new brand of hotel that will feature micro-lofts that are "hybrids" for living/working -- more suitably designed for domestic routines like cooking, entertaining and working than the conventional hotel room. There are a lot of clever, space-saving ideas and overlapping functions in this design, which manage to make the space feel larger.
Launching this summer in Amsterdam, Zoku's design was created by Dutch studio Concrete as a live/work space for the modern travelling professional, who may be away from home for several weeks to a few months. Zoku will consist of differently sized micro-lofts, starting at the basic 24-square-meter (258 square feet) Zoku Loft, or the XL (344 square feet, pictured in this post) and XL (441 square feet) lofts, which can have an adjacent room connected to them. The website explains that these micro-lofts are designed as "temporary residences" where "global nomads" can live, work and socialize comfortably:
In a regular hotel room or studio apartment, the bed always dominates. At Zoku, a big kitchen table serves as focal point. Use it to work across time zones, host dinner parties or gently rest your head after making a deadline.
The king-size bed is hidden away in the loft, behind a wooden slatted screen. A retractable stair is used to access the bed; when not in use, it can be pushed back into the wall to make more space -- a neat feature.
The kitchen is fully equipped for making meals, or that morning cup of coffee. The bathroom is found behind the kitchen.
Another desk and stool are cleverly tucked underneath the sleeping loft, and there's even a cupboard for a bike.
The vision of Zoku (which is Japanese for "family" or "clan") is a hive where people from all over the world can come stay, work but also network. The aim is to provide a place where the "social buzz of a neighbourhood" can happen, where ideas, dreams and ambitions are shared; and to encourage this, Zoku will have a co-working space, meeting rooms, a game room, a bar, and a "living kitchen." Wi-Fi is available, and of course, free.
It's an enticing concept of how the isolated hotel room of yesterday can be transformed into something more versatile, yet still reminiscent of the comforts of home. Moreover, the emphasis on easy socialization is undeniably appealing in this digital era where remote work is doing away the traditional concept of office work, and along with it, coworkers. But hotels like this may go a long way in making up for it. For more info, check out the Zoku website and Concrete Studio.