Waste is waste, whether it’s food or real estate. A new pop-up hotel design concept looks for a way to turn Manhattan’s vacant office buildings into much-needed hospitality space.
Vacant buildings are a constant reminder of the recent real estate crash. When the economy took a nosedive, people lost homes and businesses. For rent signs were hung, and didn’t come down for a long time.
Midtown Manhattan, with its breathtaking rates, was hit particularly hard. Skyscrapers meant to house hundreds of workers just sit there, empty, while travelers pack into hotels nearby. Pink Cloud, a Copenhagen-based design group, has come up with a way to solve both problems. Its concept for turning empty office buildings into pop-up hotels recently won first prize in the Radical Innovations in Hospitality competition.
“A combination of outdated building stock, the economic recession, and a lack of amenities in the neighborhood have transformed Midtown from a vibrant business hub into an area of post-recession decline,” write the designers on the concept’s webpage. Pink Cloud feels that its idea for a pop-up hotels could help property owners to utilize the space while continuing to search for permanent tenants. Stimulating the local economy while providing a convenient lodging alternative for New York City’s constant stream of visitors.
Pink Cloud envisions a modular system that would allow office building owners to customize and deploy a comfortable hotel atmosphere. There would be two main hotel design options: traditional hotel or luxury hostel. Once the preferred style is chosen, “modules would be shipped, with the computer codes controlling selection and tracking. Meanwhile, the Pop-Up Hotel website and app would be updated with the location of the hotel, viral marketing would begin, and reservations taken,” reports Gizmag.
According to Pink Cloud, each module would be specifically designed to fit through an elevator door and would be no bigger than a standard U.S. shipping pallet. In that way, 36 boxes could be arranged neatly on a typical flatbed truck for easy delivery. Upon arrival, each could be transported to the appropriate floor and then unfolded to make partitions, beds, sofas, chairs, basins, toilets, showers, tubs and other features.
The concept is quite promising, pop-up hotels face some stumbling blocks in the real world. Meeting existing health, building and fire codes is likely to be a costly challenge, not to mention aspects like plumbing and adequate power, which would obviously be “sold separately” from the pop-up modules.
Check out more interesting renderings of Pink Cloud’s award-winning design here.