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2019’s Most Radical Hotel Concepts Announced

Collapsible hotels and defunct railways could be new hospitality trends.


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While there are undoubtedly many architecturally and technologically advanced hotels available for guests now, it seems the hospitality world is curious about what’s to come in the future. Hilton recently revealed their predictions for what hotels will look like in 100 years (including 3D-printed decadent dinners). And Radical Innovation, a competition to create novel ideas in travel and hospitality, just announced this year’s finalists: Infinite Explorer by SB Architects, Volumetric High-Rise Modular Hotel by Danny Forster & Architecture, and Connectic by Cooper Carry.

So, what do these radical designs entail? Well, the Infinite Explorer is “a hospitality concept that helps travelers connect with remote destinations using the American West’s defunct passenger rail lines which now span the nation.” The firm proposes transforming the existing infrastructure and stopping along the route to host an immersive program of activity, including outdoor adventures, wellness, and dining in previously “untapped” locations.

Volumetric High-Rise Modular Hotel, ultimately an AC by Marriott in Manhattan, will be the world’s tallest modular hotel when it opens in early 2020. Incredibly, 80 percent of the building’s square footage will be shipped in—precisely constructed and complete down to the curtains, TV, sconces, and even art. What’s more is the design firm and its tech partner patented “Time Machine” technology that lets clients, off-site stakeholders, contractors, and architects keep an eye on the build.

Connectic will also use modular construction techniques but more flexible. Instead of having just one location, they’re proposing creating collapsible units that are adaptable to a variety of environments. This is meant to fill underutilized spaces and build pop-up hotels in remote areas or “to help solve problems of space and density in urban cores.”

This fall the three firms will compete in a live pitch presentation at the New Museum in New York City for a chance to win the grand- prize of $10,000 and the runner-up prize of $5,000.


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