The end of the hotel room as we know it – zoku

Last month Design Insider explored how spaces are becoming more transitional, with office spaces leaning towards residential/hospitality aesthetics, and with hotels shifting to accommodate a more live/work space. This month however we are looking at ‘Innovation’ and this is where ‘ZOKU’ comes into play and wonderfully combines transition and innovation, this new brand claims to be ‘the end of the hotel room as we know it’.


Facilitating global living and working for the travelling professional, Zoku, which is Japanese for family, tribe, or clan, will disrupt and create a new category in the hotel industry – a home-office hybrid, also suitable for long stays, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood. Designed in collaboration with Concrete, the award-winning interior design and architecture agency, Zoku will be a relaxed place to live, work and socialise with like-minded people while getting wired into the city.

Hybrid-living meets compact-living: living large in a small space

As space is becoming scarcer in urban areas, the way we use it sustainably to meet long-term accommodation requirements is more and more relevant. Smart solutions that create the opportunity to use less square metres and facilitate 24/7, multifunctional use are needed. The Zoku Loft combines hybrid-living (living and working) with compact-living, by creating a spacious experience in a minimum area of just 25 m2.

02 ZK1 overview

The end of the hotel room as we know it

Offering both style and space consciousness, the Zoku Loft has customisable interiors that shift the focus from the bed to the living space. The central feature of the room will be a four-person table that can be used to work, dine and entertain, or just hang out.

03 ZK1 overview
The Zoku Loft also features a fully-equipped kitchen, cleverly designed extensive storage space, an alcove desk with office supplies, and an elevated, loft-style sleeping space, which can be accessed by a retractable staircase, and screened off to make the loft cosy, business-like or something in between. The loft will feature furnishings from Danish design brand Muuto. Zoku guests can add a finishing touch to their loft by choosing their own art, making the space truly personal.

04 ZK1 living
Serving the new generation of business travellers

The concept behind Zoku is the result of extensive crowdsourcing and research efforts by Zoku and futures consultancy The Future Laboratory. “The advance of technology has changed personal and professional lifestyles. Boundaries between work and leisure are fading, and blurring borders have made people more mobile than ever,” says Hans Meyer, Co-founder and managing director of Zoku. “At Zoku we realise that your well-being is vital to get the most out of your travel experience. It’s easy for global nomads, whose work forms an essential part of their lives, to feel ungrounded and disconnected from what inspires them. Zoku is going to change that. The Zoku Lofts offer an efficient work space without losing the comfortable, flexible vibe of home, while the Zoku community provides a social structure.”

07 ZK1 bed
A thriving neighbourhood for global nomads

Encouraging social connections, Zoku will offer diverse social areas to facilitate effortless interaction between Zoku’s residents, the local community and Zoku Community Managers. 24/7, open-plan communal living and co-working spaces will allow for conversations and small meetings, and a residential living kitchen will present the possibility to share a meal together or host small dinner parties. Zoku Community Managers will roam the public spaces, helping with personal requests and facilitating professional and social connections through their broad networks within Zoku and the city.

Zoku will also develop a lively social programme with focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as an app, to build a strong in-house community and facilitate business connections and a local social life.





About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
View all posts by Alys Bryan →

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