The Netherlands: Zoku, the latest brand from CitizenM co-founder Hans Meyer, will open its first property in Amsterdam this autumn.
Named after the Japanese word for family or tribe, its creators describe Zoku, and specifically its Zoku Loft customisable room, as “the end of the hotel room as we know it”.
The Zoku Loft “combines hybrid-living (living and working) with compact-living, by creating a spacious experience in a minimum area of just 25 square metres”. Zoku Lofts can be rented from one night up to several months. The first property will open in Amsterdam’s city centre, featuring 133 Zoku Lofts, and more than 500 square metres of social space for its guests.
Meyer and his co-founder Marc Jongerius say Zoku “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.”
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. The room also features a fully-equipped kitchen, 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 personalise the space by choosing their own art, making the space truly personal.
The concept is the result of extensive crowdsourcing and research efforts by Zoku and consultancy The Future Laboratory.
“The merging of business and leisure – a trend we have identified as bleisure – represents one of the fastest growing and dynamic business opportunities in recent years. Today’s business travellers are re-writing the rules. Their outlook on work and play demands new services and a new approach to the hospitality sectors. The business hub will be the opportunity of the next decade in terms of hospitality value creation,” said Chris Sanderson, Co-founder of The Future Laboratory London.
Hans Meyer, co-founder and managing director of Zoku, said: “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. 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.”
Zoku will offer 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.”
“We are aiming for a fast international rollout of Zokus in the world’s most creative cities,” said co-founder Marc Jongerius. “All this with the aim of creating an international community network of Zokus.”
See a short film about the Zoku concept below.