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Rogue Ones

(April 2017) posted on Mon Apr 24, 2017

The hotel industry is reinventing itself with accommodations in art galleries, suspended cabins and disaster-proof buildings.

By Oriana Lerner

click an image below to view slideshow

Up, up and away: The industrial-looking staircase leads guests to the elevated retreat. Photo: Johan Jansson

Natural ingredients? Yes, as in natural woods and fur accents, but with a hefty side of human hand-driven cool. Designers’ childhood treehouse fantasies are growing up, moving beyond eco-chic to residential sophistication.

Dynamic Seismic Hotel
Naples, Italy

It’s time to explode notions about what functional architecture and design can be.

For Margot Krasojevic´’s Dynamic Seismic Hotel in Naples (commissioned but not yet built) that pyrotechnic moment is literal, at least if push comes to tectonic shove. The hotel is built as three parts around a central core that’s meant to separate in case of a 5.0-plus-magnitude earthquake, which the region frequently experiences.

Exterior rendering
Each piece of this planned hotel is designed to separate during an earthquake to minimize damage. Photo: Courtesy of Margot Krasojevic´ Architecture

There’s a lot more left-brain thinking than creative carte blanche in the design for projects like this. “The nature of this type of architecture dictates a slightly different relationship to interior design as the function of the building necessitates a more rigid and less playful approach,” says Krasojevic´, founder, Margot Krasojevic´ Architecture. “The interiors are rather sparse by comparison to other hotels. Beds, closets, shower trays and tables are locked into each element’s structure, and inspiration was taken from the FLIP boats (a type of research vessel) built in the 1960s—even though they rotated by 90 degrees.”

Gas and water are located in the central core of the complex. Each piece of the building contains its own electrical system, which is designed to shut off when the earth starts shaking. Windows are designed to fall into water trays outside the hotel to avoid hitting anyone. The lightweight frame and cladding minimize damage when the building does move.

Margot Krasojevic´, Margot Krasojevic´ Architecture. Photo: Courtesy of Margot Krasojevic´ Architecture

All these technical details don’t preclude high-drama design. “The visuals try to isolate the building within the landscape, as I wanted to focus on the tremor in relation to the design,” says Krasojevic´. “That’s why I gave the renderings contrast with light and darkness. To me, these images needed to show the before-and-after effects of severe weather, as well as explore the use of light and general feeling of isolation after a disorientating experience like an earthquake.”

Realizing that vision means thinking outside the box when it comes to the team, as well. Krasojevic´ turned to shipbuilders to help her on this project, along with seismic, hydrokinetic and hydraulic engineers.

Move over, evolutionary change. The design revolution is here—and its credo calls for designers to overhaul the way hospitality fits into culture—more room with a viewpoint than room with a view.


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