Hive-Inn by OVA Studio Marries Flexible Configurable Design with Chic Branding

Posted by Rachel S on Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Hive-Inn by OVA Studio, Hong Kong

OVA Studio developed their Hive-Inn concept as an entry in the Radical Innovation Award competition which is a search for the next big hotel concept. Although OVA did not make it into the finals, we think their concept is a big winner. The notion behind Hive-Inn is an open grid vertical structure with a central core that allows accessibility to the real genius of this project – shipping container rooms developed by corporate sponsors that are portable, interchangeable and scalable.

Fixed crane would change out rooms at Hive-Inn

Included with their entry to the Radical competition, OVA Studio designed two rooms for luxury brands Ferrari and Alexander McQueen. The structure has drawn comparisons to Jenga, without the tumble down effect as containers are added and taken away. It’s geometric for sure and has the feel of a night in a LEGO constructed hotel.

OVA’s proposal included the selling points that corporate-sponsored container rooms would incur lower costs for the hotel operator while increasing consumer experience as they could choose from a wide variety of branded rooms. In their design, they feature container sketches of brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Lady Gaga, Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Disney, Rolex, Nikon, Ikea and Starbucks. The luxury brand rooms sound lovely, but I fear the Ikea suite would force you to assemble your furnishing before you could sleep.

Ferrari branded room at Hive-Inn

Atop the roof of the Hive-Inn would be a permanent crane that would pluck container rooms in and out of the hive concept hotel moving them around and replacing them. Imagine if you could get the site you want with the view you want. The hotelier could simply pluck your Disney box out of one side and move it to an ocean view. They also propose that certain containers could tour various locations to attract interest and guests seeking to stay in the container before it moves on.

I see this concept as having an even broader appeal to the super rich who could have their own luxury container suite designed and shipped to wherever they travel so they can BYOR (bring your own room) to Hive-Inn locations around the world. One downside is, it’s not a terribly attractive structure. With all the corporate logos, it feels like a compendium of billboards that’s somewhat chaotic.

Alexander McQueen branded room at Hive-Inn

But since it’s the inside of the hotel that you experience, so long as that was greatly appealing, you could look past the industrial/shipyard feel of the exterior. But those that live and work down the street from a Hive-Inn may not appreciate the view and that’s a detractor to a certain extent. Another questionable aspect of the design is the lack of windows and balconies to let in natural light.

No matter how nice the box is, if you can’t look out the window, it will feel like a box. The sensation of a windowless room is bad enough on the lower decks of a cruise ship, but may be worse when you know there’s a view available but blocked by a half inch of steel. Also at a standard width of just eight feet by forty feet, it would be a tough sell to ensure they don’t feel restrictive. Although compared to Sleeping Around, the pop up hotel that uses 20 foot containers, these would feel quite spacious.

Interchangeable is the key word for Hive-Inn design

What’s more intriguing about this sustainable design, from my perspective, is the notion OVA Studio discussed that it could be used as emergency housing for post-disaster scenarios. If the infrastructure grid could be thrown up rapidly, this could be a traveling rescue concept to help those who are forced out of their homes by floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Unfortunately, Hive-Inn did not make the final selection for the Radical Awards, but Hong Kong-based OVA Studio may yet see their stackable hotel solution come to fruition.

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