Airbnb’s Backyard Initiative to Roll Out House Designs in 2019

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Airbnb has announced a major move into the architecture and construction industry, with plans to release a new housing prototype late next year. The house designs are being developed as part of Airbnb’s Backyard initiative, which is spearheaded by the company’s offshoot design studio Samara, launched in 2016.

As revealed by Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, the project will see the company devise a new way to design, build and share homes suited to contemporary lifestyles. “With Backyard, we’re using the same lens through which Airbnb was envisioned – the potential of space – and applying it more broadly to architecture and construction,” said Gebbia in a project statement.

Gebbia, who originally trained as a designer, initiated the company’s venture into building design when he realised that many Airbnb hosts were modifying their homes in anticipation of guests, finding many residences unsuitable. Backyard designs will draw on Airbnb sharing model “We began with a simple question,” said Gebbia.
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Set to reveal its first prototype late next year, Samara is working on schemes that will draw on the Airbnb model of home sharing to include architectural features designed for this goal, but also respond to a number of issues that “quickly emerged” on further investigation, such as keeping up with the changing needs of residents and “the rate at which the world changes”. “Simply put, nothing addressed long-term adaptability from a systemic perspective,” Backyard project lead Fedor Novikov said. “The only way to close the gap was to work from first principles and imagine entirely new approaches for building homes.”
Housing prototype to counter “outdated and wasteful” construction industry “In the US alone, we’re starting construction on an average of 3,300 new homes every day,” said Gebbia. “For us, this goes beyond a business opportunity. It’s a social responsibility.” “The way buildings are made is outdated and generates a tremendous amount of waste,” he added. “In order to meet the demands of the future, whether it be climate displacement or rural-urban migration, the home needs to evolve, to think forward.”

Gebbia graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with a dual degree in Graphic and Industrial Design, before co-founding Airbnb with fellow design graduate Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk, in 2008.

The company has since caused a major disruption to the hotel industry. Airbnb launched the Samara arm eight years later to focus on projects including architecture, service design and software engineering. It kicked off with a prototype house designed and built for Kenya Hara’s House Vision exhibition, featuring


Accor to Acquire 21c Museum Hotels
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AccorHotels has signed an agreement to acquire 85% of 21c Museum Hotels, the hospitality management company that combines multi-venue art museums, boutique hotels and restaurants. 21c Museum Hotels will join Accor’s MGallery collection, marking the introduction of the MGallery brand into the North American market.

With MGallery properties across the globe including Hotel Molitor Paris, Ink Hotel Amsterdam and Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, 21c will benefit from Accor’s support in terms of development opportunities, as well as access to one of the largest distribution networks in the industry.

Founded in 2006 in Louisville by philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c was born from the idea that art can ignite urban revitalisation and catalyse civic connection – its first opening, 21c Museum Hotel, rehabilitating a series of 19th century warehouses in Louisville’s downtown arts and theatre district. The success of the flagship created opportunities for expansion, leading to properties in Bentonville, Cincinnati, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville and Oklahoma City, and the development of three more in Des Moines, Miami and Chicago. “We are delighted to welcome 21c Museum Hotels as part of the AccorHotels family of brands, hence strengthening the group’s footprint in North America in a very unique and promising niche,” comments Kevin Frid, Chief Operating Officer, North & Central America, AccorHotels. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to grow the 21c brand, as well as introduce MGallery into the North American market, building both brand equities and further expanding the full range of unparalleled experiences for our guests. This strategic acquisition marks a new step in AccorHotels’ strategy of being the leading player in the luxury and lifestyle segment in North America.”
Steve Wilson, founder of 21c Museum Hotels, adds: “21c is proud to announce our entry into the AccorHotels family. AccorHotels is one of the world’s leading hotel operators and will be a perfect partner and catalyst for 21c’s continued growth.

We are confident that the unique spirit of 21c will not only be preserved, but will flourish within the MGallery collection of boutique hotels. 21c will continue to bring the work of today’s most dynamic and engaging contemporary artists to the public, and this partnership will be a tremendous boost for 21c’s continued development in North America and abroad. We are extremely excited to see what the future holds.
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The group will also continue to be led by President & CEO Craig Greenberg, while its corporate headquarters are expected to stay in Louisville, Kentucky. The purchase price for the 85% stake is USD$51 million, and the transaction is due to be completed in Q3 of 2018.


10 Hotels from Around the World that Creatively Repurpose

Shipping Containers
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Few structures have seen such versatile upcycling as the shipping container. originally designed to safely carry goods around the globe, the container’s durable, cube-like shape has attracted architects to continuously come up with new, innovative uses, ranging from demountable football stadiums, to floating student housing and starburst-shaped residences. Being easy to transport and adapt into any kind of environment, containers have proven particularly successful when transformed into various types of accommodation, from hotels to hostels, or single-room retreats.

We’ve rounded up ten hospitality projects from around the world that repurpose containers in fun and innovative ways, providing an unforgettable experience for their guests.
Quadrum ski & yoga resort, Georgia. Located at 2200 m in upper gudauri, georgia, quadrum is a boutique hotel made entirely from recycled shipping containers. The eco-friendly hotel is designed to affect the surrounding natural environment as little as possible, while its stacked boxes all feature floor-to-ceiling views that look out to the caucasus mountains.

Tiny urban escapes, Indianapolis. Designed as a private space to ‘seek lost sleep, enjoy sinfully lazy sundays, live life a little slower or simply unplug and de-stress’, indianapolis’ tiny urban escapes are fit within recycled shipping containers. created by canadian company glasshaus, each cabin features a double bed, private deck, and floor-to-ceiling walls.

Contain hotel by artikul architects, Czech Republic. Contain hotel in the czech republic is a popup accomodation located on the elbe river near the town of litoměřice. the design comprises a 40 foot-long container stacked on top of two perpendicularly aligned 20-foot containers, while the property has been nicknamed the‘trainspotting hotel’ as a result of its proximity to the nearby rail tracks.

Beach box hotel, Baga Goa, India. Located in baga goa, india, the beach box hotel is made entirely from upcycled and recycled materials, using shipping containers as its structure. the hotel features 16 rooms, an inhouse restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool, and all are painted in various shades of red and combined with wooden surfaces.

Flophouze hotel, round top, Texas. In flophouze, guests have the opportunity to stay in one of six shipping containers before they decide if they want to design and build one of their own. Located in round top, Texas, each guest house consists of a living room, kitchen, bedroom and a bathroom, with interiors clad in sustainable wood harvested from the company’s farm in upstate New York, windows salvaged from a school in Philadelphia that was slated for demolition, and kitchen cabinets from a laboratory in Brooklyn.
The Yays – Crane Apartment by Edward van Vliet, Amsterdam. Edward van Vliet has refurbished a shipping container in amsterdam’s NDSM area by restoring its old parts and adding completely new ones, creating a space that’s both luxurious and a little unorthodox. managed by yays concierged boutique apartments, the holiday retreat suspends guests in the air and makes them part of the crane’s long history, creating memories to share forever.

Hougoumont hotel, Fremantle, Australia. The Hougoumont transports guests through passages in time – past, present and future – fusing an original structure built in 1901 with an innovative sea container construction. located in the heart of historic fremantle, the small boutique hotel features a heritage-laced facade, which blends with a dynamic combination of colors and materials.

CCASA hostel by TAK Architects, Vietnam. Designed by TAK architects, CCASA – short for container casa – packs a welcoming atmosphere for young backpackers who find themselves in vietnam. bringing old containers back to life, the hostel’s design is inspired by the interior of train cabins, while each bedroom is designed as a fullyfurnished cabin of its own.

Winebox valparaiso, Chile. As its name suggests, this wine-themed hotel on the coast of valparaiso, chile, provides accomodation made of 25 shipping containers salvaged from the nearby port.winebox hotel offers a private terrace for each room, while repurposed furniture and hand-painted murals can be found throughout the space.

Sleeping Around by Geoffrey Stampaert, Didier Opdebeeck, and Ellen Wezenbeek. Sleeping Around is a pop-up hotel the travels the globe based on an effective supply-anddemand model. its shipping container structures can equally reside in the countryside or adapt in a stimulating city center, while travelers can check back periodically to see if the hotel has moved to an area of interest. the mobile hotel can be set up and fully functional within five hours of arriving at a location.

This Hotel has No Roof or Walls, Just a Summer

Night Sky and a Swiss Valley as a Backdrop
From 2016 to 2017, the hospitality industry in Switzerland welcomed one of the most radical and attractive additions to the country’s extensive list of luxury services and hotels: the null stern hotel. Designed in principal as an art installation by Swiss concept artists Frank and Patrik Riklin in conjunction with their partner and hospitality expert Daniel Charbonnier, the hotel without any walls or a roof, featured just a bed under the Swiss Summer Sky with spectacular views of the Safien valley in Grisons and in Appezellerland.

After two successful summer seasons with more than 4,500 reservation requests on the waiting list, the Frank and Patrik Riklin concept is returning to the Swiss Alpine Foreland of Wildhaus, toggenburg under the name of ‘zero real estate'. There are three suites available located in the picturesque landscape, with a modern butler that is there to assist, welcome guests and bring breakfast. as a contingency for bad weather, there is an alternative accommodation on-site, a hotel room in an alpine hut or an old toggenburg farmhouse.

In march 2017, a report by the world travel and tourism council (wttc) identified that the global hospitality industry ‘generated US $7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy.‘ Switzerland is also responsible for producing the next generation of pioneers in the industry with four of the current top 10 hospitality universities in world. Thus, as zero real estate filled 75% of the total available nights in just the first ten days, the concept provides an interesting insight and a juxtaposition to the typical strategy of what sells a successful hotel experience and attracts tourists.