The problem? Vacant office space in Manhattan has spiked over the past few years. One possible solution? Replicable pop-up hotel rooms designed by Danish firm Pink Cloud.
Now, keep in mind, this is an entirely theoretical idea. But it's not a bad one. Pink Cloud's plan works like this: 36 prefabricated boxes with the dimensions of a typical elevator would arrive on a truck. Each box is colour coded -- one contains beds and mattresses, another has sinks, another has sofas and chairs, and other furniture and features. These modular pieces can be easily built up and broken down on the spot, plugging into existing office floor plans to provide sleeping quarters, check-in, lounge areas, restaurants, event spaces and other amenities. The hotels would be temporary and nomadic too -- each location would pop-up for a couple of weeks before moving on to another location.
If the project ever does come to fruition, it would be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Thanks to the recession, about 21 per cent of offices in the once-thriving Midtown are now vacant. At only $US120/night, pop-up hotels would offer another option to cash-strapped visitors, while throwing a economic bone to owners of long-vacant properties.
There are a few hurdles, however.
Pop-up hotels might not be entirely legal in terms of zoning, but considering the recent push to rezone Midtown East, it's not entirely out of the question. There are also a couple of logistical questions that need to be answered. For example, what about plumbing? And what about the dozens of rooms that wouldn't have windows? Still, it's a pretty smart idea. New York City is visited by 51 million people (and counting) every year, you have to get creative with the way you use that tiny island space -- especially space that's going unused.