Decoding Design

Four hotels that rethink hospitality design

Four hotels that rethink hospitality design

Posting in Cities

A roundup of imaginative hotels around the world.

Located in Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Mexico, these four hotels offer very different takes on accommodation.

Glass igloos
Thermal glass walls and ceilings provide a warm space and clear view of the Aurora Borealis at the Hotel Klakslattanen in Finland's Urho Kekkonen National Park. The glass of the igloos prevent frost so that views are clear no matter how cold the outside temperature.

Hostel of sewer pipes
At the Tubohotel in Tepoztlan, Morelos (abut 45 minutes south of Mexico City) concrete drainage pipes present very basic hostel rooms. The tubo rooms are stacked and arranged around a common outdoor space for socializing. The rooms provide only basic necessities but offer views and access to the beautiful desert and mountains right outside the door.

Suspended treehouses
The five treehouses of Treehotel in Harads, Sweden were designed by leading architects and include a UFO inspired structure, a mirrored cube that seems to disappear, and a bird's nest. All are suspended 13 to 19 feet above the ground and offer the unique experience of sleeping in the treetops.

Grain silos
Silo Stay in Little River, New Zealand reuses grain silos as individual motel units. Designed by F3 Design, the silo rooms emphasize environmental sustainability in their energy use--a gravity fed wood pellet boiler to heat the eight unit complex. The designers hope to design and build more silos for other commercial and residential uses.

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Sun Kim

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sun Joo Kim is an architect and creative consultant based in Boston. Her projects include design and master planning of museums, public institutions, hospitals, and university buildings across the U.S. She holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure