Architects Aukett Swanke have unveiled their hotel design concept for a new generation of ‘nomad’ hotel guests. The concept seeks to address how architecture can encourage connection by revising established ideas about hotel spaces– the lobby, the guestroom, who uses them, and how they are shared.
As competition for the global travel market becomes increasingly fierce, hoteliers and their designers are trying to differentiate their offer to create a unique experience for their customers.
The practice’s design team developed a concept room for the sensation orientated traveller for this year’s Sleep hotel design event, responding to a brief based on the Sinus‐Milieus model which identifies new ways of customer segmentation, based on ‘lifestyle and values’ rather than age and income alone.
Aukett Swanke’s design concept reflects an understanding that the sensation-oriented traveller is not necessarily a high-earner, but rather spends a higher proportion of their income on travel as a central focus of their leisure time. This type of guest considers the space to which they travel to be an extension of their interest and activities, not an escape from them. Like a futuristic cave, all rooms are almost devoid of furniture. This increases the ways in which the space can be used, both individually and as a collection of rooms, with varying interior moods achieved entirely though the architecture and lighting
Nick de Klerk, Associate at Aukett Swanke commented: “Sensation Orientated’ guest travels – often in groups – to affirm their values and aspirations, and this room offers an escape to their real life, not from it. It offers a carefully calibrated combination of spatial and sensory experiences, which are both personal and social; this is a room in which to retreat and to come together. We are working with subtle challenges to the senses – sight, sound and touch – through the imaginative use of lighting, materials, acoustics and soft furnishings. This will encourage our guest to think about how they use the room and self-awareness in the space, offering the opportunity to create their own reality – even if just for a night.“
The concept space is divided into three sections. In addition to a sleeping and bathroom area, the third room has been conceived as a flexible social space. To create this, the design team has drawn on ideas of topography and amphitheatres effectively creating a stage within the room, accommodating as many as ten people comfortably, where the guest’s use becomes a performance.
From the social space steps lead to a more intimate sleeping space which is more intimate in scale and has a softer acoustic character. A transition from cool to warm lighting tones and from more textured to smoother, softer fabrics enhances this effect.
Both rooms are lined in two layers of fine mesh, with a fully integrated lighting scheme, which runs a circadian sequence of morning, daytime and afternoon scenes. The mesh is quite transparent close up, but appears more opaque from further away. This effect along with the moiré generated by the two layers of mesh viewed obliquely means that your visual perception of the wall surface changes constantly relative to your viewing position. The lighting scheme ‘inhabits’ the depth of the wall, turning the wall from merely a surface into more of an experience. The bathroom acts as an experiential counterpoint; a dark, highly reflective, kaleidoscopic space.
The main social space is designed in such a way that it can be joined up – in groups of two and four with larger, now shared, social spaces. These spaces could be arranged in groups of eight or sixteen around variably sized courtyards, or in iterative curved arrangements where opposite guestroom doors are located on axis with one another. The radial shift in plan creates a richly spatial ‘street’ in the place of a corridor. In this arrangement the collection of rooms could be a camp, a festival, or even a ‘sensation-oriented’ hotel.
For more press information on this project and Aukett Swanke please contact:
Gloria Roberts and Miriam Mandel at Caro Communications
T: +44 (0) 20 7713 9388