With the arrival of the digital age, the dynamics of daily life have dramatically changed, and this is perhaps especially the case for the majority of creative professionals around the planet, whose livelihoods are every much rooted in this boom era. Catering to this nomadic demographic is Zoku, a nifty and acclaimed hospitality concept created by Hans Meyer and Marc Jongerius, two dutch professionals with a combined background in hospitality and finance under their belt. The Zoku project – in case you wondered, zoku means family or tribe in Japanese – was announced early last year, but only now has it really taken off, with the recent opening its first property in Amsterdam.
The choice to open on home turf isn’t accidental as the Dutch capital is a leading hub of innovation, and as such it’s home to an increasing number of new generation ventures, companies, and last but not least, the prerequisite professionals that make it all happen. Anticipating the mobility and requirements of this demographic, Zoku’s design by Amsterdam-based practice Concrete intentionally blurs the lines adopted in traditional hospitality, creating not only a seamless transition between private and social, but also between leisure and work. But let’s first talk about the rooms. A total of 133 pads are spread over five floors, and they come in four different categories, each featuring a different size.
At 16 sqm. [172 sq.ft.], the Zoku room is the most compact, but features all the modern comfort and amenities to rest and work. Interestingly, it can be rented as an adjacent room to the bigger Zoku Loft XL. Mind you, all of the rooms boast cool contemporary design that maximizes the use of the space through clever solutions, such as a sliding staircase and elevated sleeping. The Zoku Loft comes with a full-fledged kitchen, and as its name already implies, it’s slightly bigger. The Zoku Loft XL measures 30 sqm. [323 sq.ft.] and easily accommodates two. See the artworks? These can actually be swapped to better suit your mood or taste.
Each floor boasts a so-called art library, allowing you to customize your private domain to a certain degree. At 46 sqm. [495 sq.ft.], the Zoku Loft XXL definitely is the op pad in the house, providing even a second sleeping space that’s a complete bedroom. All rooms come with complimentary WiFi, dimmable LED lighting, and the equally stylish bathrooms feature a separate shower section. Let’s go back to the public areas and facilities, or in true Zoku parlance, the social spaces. Exiting the elevator on the top floor, a glass-encased corridor with lush plants and outdoor verandas leads to the beating heart of the property, offering sweeping views of the city along the way.
Guests will find up here a playfully designed, hybrid social hub with homey touches that allows them to work, play and mingle. The bar, living room, restaurant and communal working spaces are each a seamless extrapolation of the other, and as such a perfect place to spend an entire day. Obviously, free WiFi is available here as well. And when it’s time to do serious business, meeting rooms and a large events space are readily available on the very same floor. A European roll-out of the Zoku concept is already in the making, with the next two properties scheduled to open in Paris in the near future.