In the hospitality industry, there have been designs for pop-up, modular hotels. These types of designs have often been developed to offer hoteliers the opportunity to erect new hotels in a cost-effective and quick manner. But it’s conceivable that future pop-up hotels will have to be even more flexible.
“There’s been numerous scenarios of these pop-up modular systems, but Mosaic really takes that to the next level,” says Jerod Costner, senior planner at Irvine, Calif.-based design firm WATG, “It’s a self-contained unit that could really survive on its own.”
WATG invented Mosaic’s portable, adaptable, modular system of “prisms”—which are singular units of accommodations that can be outfitted as needed as spas, salons, guest-rooms, mini-homes, or tented villas. At HD Expo 2010 in Las Vegas in May, Mosaic was named the winner of the Radical Innovation in Hospitality Competition, which is co-founded and produced by Hospitality Design Group and the John Hardy Group to promote innovation and global thought-leadership in hospitality. The contest awards a $10,000 prize.
“The prisms can attach to each other to create larger spaces, and the interiors are designed as more of a guideline for people to follow so that manufacturers and people in the industry can design their own interiors and sell them on what we like to call the Mosaic Marketplace,” explains Krystal Solorzano, designer, who along with Costner and designer Karen Mitri, comprised the winning design team.
The designers created the concept to allow for discovery and adventure in new locations, and to provide modular and flexible guest accommodations at existing properties to capture additional peak-season business. For adventure travel and “voluntourism,” hybrid vacation and volunteer work experience, Mosaic hubs and prisms accommodate volunteers and then remain as housing for local communities.
“Mosaic can go anywhere, anytime, for any need,” Mitri says. “All the interiors are very convertible so they can fold and ship easily, and then unpack very quickly, whether you’re using it for a luxury hotel or a relief housing situation.”
In fact, Mosaic began as a premise outside of the lodging industry, as pods for disaster relief. “We actually started with three concepts. One was disaster relief. Another was as a cultural-based hotel where guests come in and experience a culture and then leave the hotel behind for the community to use. The third was this modular system where you create the model for the hotel,” Solorzano says. “When we saw all of these intertwining themes, we decided it was something that could meet all of these needs.”
“We did a lot of brainstorming about tourism and one of the themes that also developed was the idea of voluntourism, eco-tourism, and adventure tourism,” Costner adds. “Mosaic seems to answer all of these applications.”
The other finalists included “Aircruise”, created by Seymourpowell. Aircruise is a hotel in the sky with low passenger numbers and huge internal spaces that offer areas for living, dining, and relaxing. “Trespass,” another finalist, created by Weetu, introduces color and life to interrupt the concrete mirage and inspire a new method for resuscitating dying malls.