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Rethink™ Hotels: Fourth Place

"Convergence" by Caroline Fraser and Simon Diesendruck
  • Jovoto Finalist Convergence

    Convergence, Roof Terrace View

  • Jovoto Finalist Convergence

    Convergence, Lounge View

  • Jovoto Finalist Convergence

    Convergence, Lobby View

  • Jovoto Finalist Convergence

    Convergence, Atrium View

  • Jovoto Finalist Convergence

    Convergence, Shared Office View

Hotels with Integrated Work Space

Claska is one of the most in-demand small hotels in Tokyo, and the lobby is an attractive co-working space used by locals and guests alike. It differs from Convergence in that it adds events space, residential floors and retail offerings to the recipe.

Designer Oana Rosen is a leader in repurposing old work spaces into cozy living spaces, and Roomers, an abandoned office building turned futuristic hotel in Frankfurt’s financial district, is a prime example.

The 59-story Langham Place building is a true-to-form megahotel in the new Asian idiom, combining office floors, a massive retail space and hundreds of upmarket rooms and suites, perched high above the city.

The Shangri-La makes up part of a mixed-use skyscraper that incorporates offices, retail, dining and residential space, plus fifteen floors of high-functioning, high-tech hotel rooms.

January, 2013

Continuing our look at the winners of the Rethink Hotels contest, we turn our attention to the four Jury Prize finalists. The brief, you’ll remember, was to design the social hotel of the future, and to judge the competition, we assembled an all-star panel from an array of hotel-related fields: hotelier Mark Sainsbury, architect Rob Wagemans, designer Matali Crasset, architect Shuwa Tei, entrepreneur Brent Hoberman, and Tablet co-founder and CEO Laurent Vernhes. Together they deliberated over hundreds of entries, a challenging task given the talent on display amongst the competition’s participants.

For fourth place, the jury selected Convergence, which aims to bring together the primary functions of hotels and cities — in the words of designer Caroline Fraser, a hotel exists simply “to provide a place to sleep to visitors,” and cities “are born as commercial and financial agglomerations.” The result, for Fraser and collaborator Simon Diesendruck, is a project that houses guest rooms and shared office space under the same roof.

Where traditional business hotels and office spaces can both sometimes feel anonymous, with their emphases on convenience and focussed efficiency, Convergence is more in tune with an increasingly prevalent startup culture that values risk-taking and the spontaneous exchange of ideas. The co-working space calls for an audience that’s willing to leave its comfort zone — allowing strangers to play a part in a business trip or work day. For the non-traditional workers and entrepreneurial travelers likely to be drawn to the co-working space, the hotel could hold a strong appeal.

This one was a particular favorite of Tablet’s own co-founder, Laurent Vernhes: “The concept is something that’s in the air right now, and it seems like such an obvious idea that you almost think you’ve seen it before — but nobody has yet gone the distance, merging co-working and hotel rooms in the same building.” Congratulations to Caroline Fraser and Simon Diesendruck! Stay tuned each week for the remaining three winners.

The Winners:
Community Prize: Open Plan, by Andre Pradiktha
Fourth Place: Convergence, by Caroline Fraser and Simon Diesendruck
Third Place: The Match, by Katja Butzke
Second Place: Carry On, New York, by Evan Thompson
First Place: Coming Soon

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