It is trade show season and I have enjoyed a diverse collection of seminars on many different topics in many different sectors. The result of which has permitted looking at issues in slightly different ways. We are Envelopment Consultants and therefore take a topic and ‘Envelope It’ with as many territories of thought as possible. This allows us to make comment on potential niches that could be exploited and I will give an example of this in this blog.
During the Sleep Show (‘Sleep’ – The Hotel Design Event) it became very apparent that the hospitality sector is concerned with the momentum that Air BNB is gaining. The Off-Site Show in Excel stated that Off Site Construction to meet demand (where demand is met by pre fabrication offsite in a weather proof environment such as a warehouse/factory then delivered ready to install on site) is the only way to build and at the Construction Week Show at the NEC – we were reminded of the £3 billion fund available from the HCA. At Mipim UK the show was full of stands hired by Local Authorities desperate to sell off their land. All of the shows were full of clever property tech’ and some glimmers of great ‘innovation’ (although in my opinion the use of this word can too often be applied insufficiently).
This melting pot of information triggered me to make initial doodles of how a hotel chain could turn their hand to development using the HCA fund and Local Authority Land. I started by pimping a sea container to become a service apartment (or micro-flat). My view is that every dweller should have an outdoor room and due to the UK’s Weather some covered area. I therefore spaced out the customised containers to realise the notion of external space for everyone.
The garden tower would sit upon a plinth that would accommodate ‘the lobby’ where a variety of spaces serve as a business hub – so lots of touch down spaces, meeting snugs and a business lounge with seminar spaces.
Underground in the basements I would place data centres re-directing their heat output to areas above ground level. Perhaps a spa and large dark rooms for Virtual Reality dining. Why spend a fortune on furniture and décor if your goggles can take you to any restaurant in the world with whoever you would like to dine with…
‘Garden Tower’ by Envelope Architects Ltd with sea container service apartments and multi purpose hotel lobby plinth
The hotel could also build a glamorous street of mews houses that could cater for family vacation time. We are living in the 4th Industrial Revolution, with outputs of mass production with infinite customisation. Our Bloom Housing design is a celebration of sculptural living and I think that the hotel industry could deliver this dream. The overall benefits of hoteliers building the tower and houses are:
- There is unlikely to be the same costly planning gain payments involved as there are with volume house builders.
- Pensions companies invest more in commercial building projects rather than the domestic housing market.
- Planners may prefer this over housing as there would be greater employment over typical housing.
- I can’t think of any other sector that can deliver such high quality.
- HCA are prepared to give loans to innovative schemes to accommodate people.
- The Local Authorities may Joint Venture their land the hotelier’s construction outlay.In summary then the hospitality sector would benefit from further investigating other sectors if they are to take on Air BNB.