Zoku – New concept for global nomads
The first new work-meets-play hotel concept created for the global nomad, Zoku is now open for business in the heart of Amsterdam.
The hotel creates a new category – a home-office hybrid, also suitable for long stays, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood.
Facilitating global living and working for the travelling professional, Zoku, (Japanese for family, tribe or clan), revolutionises the hotel industry.
Designed by Concrete, Zoku is a relaxed place to live, work and socialise with like-minded people while getting wired into the city.
Zoku Amsterdam is located on the Weesperstraat, easily accessible by car and via public transport hubs, with quick connections to the city’s business, culture, entertainment and shopping areas.
Zoku is situated in the ‘Metropool building’ – a former office building designed by architect Arthur Staal, who always added something special to his buildings, known as ‘the crown’.
Based on the design of this ‘crown’, Concrete designed a traditional Dutch greenhouse, the only one of its kind in Amsterdam, which is connected to the existing structure. All of the hotel’s public functions are held in the ‘crown’ on the top floor, which includes a roof terrace as well as the greenhouse.
Rob Wagemans, founder and creative director of Concrete said: “You enter Zoku via a double height entrance lobby on the far right of the building and take the lift which brings you to the living room and communal spaces of Zoku – all located in the crown of the building on the 6th floor, where you can check in.
“This is the only architectural element added to the monumental building. The structure is as simple and light-weight as possible, to make it feel like a green oasis; like being outside but with the convenience of an inside space.”
The structure of the greenhouse carefully follows the floating zigzag facade of the 6th floor, from where the hexagonal crown shape – a returning feature in the building – emerges. The greenhouse is surrounded by terraces, each of which features a pond, plants, herbs and hammocks, surrounded by a rooftop.
The bar is the beating heart of the living room and is divided in three parts: the coffee table, the beer table and the central bar clad in green handmade tiles. The bar is surrounded by cosy seating areas, with white steel structured transparent cabinets filled with plants and styling elements associated with home, work and play. For those who wish to sit more quietly, there is a further seating area near the windows next to the fireplaces.
The game room in the in the corner of the living room is separated from the rest of the space by a thin steel structure with glass doors. This room is soundproof, so guests can watch TV or play games without disturbing others.
Guests stay within ‘loft rooms’, with each room including a fully equipped kitchen, cleverly designed extensive storage space, plentiful office supplies and an elevated, loft-style sleeping space that can be accessed by a retractable staircase which is screened off.
Rob Wagemans said: “We are truly honoured to be nominated with Zoku for the European Hotel Design Awards 2016. We are happy to share with the world this new hotel category at the award show and signify the end of the hotel room as we know it.
“If you create something that did not previously exist, the journey is never easy. It’s about staying motivated and the biggest challenge is to convince people of the new design and how it will function, because it’s a new hotel category with new opportunities and design solutions. We are convinced that this fits within the zeitgeist of this generation’s travellers.”