Centred around the concept of global living and working, new brand ‘Zoku‘ is set to create a new category in the hotel industry. Zoku, translated from the Japanese to mean family, tribe or clan, will be a home-office hybrid, with all the services of a hotel, and a sense of community typically felt in a thriving neighbourhood.
Created by ex-CitizenM founder, Hans Meyer, and co-founder Marc Jongerius, and designed in collaboration with renowned interior design and architecture firm, Concrete, Zoku is intended to be a relaxed place in which to live, work and socialise with like-minded people.
With the rise of technology and social media, an ever growing number of people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds are coming together in what Zoku describes as “a growing collaborative travelling business movement”. This concept has been 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,” explains Hans Meyer. “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.”
Inspired by this notion of the fading boundaries between work and leisure, the Zoku Loft features customisable interiors that shift the focus from the bed to the living space. A four-person table takes the central focus of the room, providing a space to work, dine or socialise. The Zoku Loft also features a fully-equipped kitchen with extensive storage space, an alcove desk with office supplies, an elevated loft-style sleeping place accessed by a retractable staircase, and feature furnishings from Danish design brand, Muuto. Guests can even select their own artwork, making the space truly customisable.
Encouraging social connections, Zoku will also 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 lofts can be rented for five nights, or for a stretch of months, ensuring that extended stays at Zoku are both financially and culturally beneficial.
“We are aiming for a fast international rollout of Zokus in the world’s most creative cities,” explains Marc Jongerius, Co-founder and managing director of Zoku. “All this with the aim of creating an international community network of Zokus.”
The first Zoku property is to open in Amsterdam in July 2015, featuring 133 Zoku lofts and 500 square metres of social space for guests.