NOT A HOTEL ANYWHERE
Not A Hotel
Yard Works Inc.
Onder De Linde
Daisuke Motogi, Yurika Mantoku
Soup Design Architecture
NOT A HOTEL ANYWHERE is an experimental project that began with a request to design a new, more mobile, location-independent way of living, using vintage trailers as its base.
In response to the client's request to develop five vehicles to rent, we proposed creating living spaces using five vehicles, each equipped with only one function, such as a bedroom or study car.
Our idea was to offer a more fulfilling way of living than conventional homes, in which one can choose a vehicle as needed and take it on a journey without being bound to a particular location.
Two larger vehicles among the five refurbished this time were manufactured by Spartan, and the other three were camping trailers manufactured by Airstream.
For the five vehicles, we selected functions that are difficult to procure locally - a bath, kitchen, sunakku, or "snack bar" (described in more detail later) and highly private functions - a bedroom and study - and reconfigured them for use in the vehicles.
A larger living room feels more luxurious. Putting up a tarp between the vehicles creates a spacious outdoor living room where one can incorporate the surrounding environment wherever one goes. On rainy days, the large bedroom vehicle substitutes for a living room.
Since the project is based on mobility, it does not have a specific site. We also want users to enjoy different landscapes of the destination at all times.
We feel that a contradictory condition characterizes this project: it requires a universal design adaptable to various environments while embracing the uniqueness of places yet to be seen.
To allow for a 360-degree view from the windows in any environment, we switched materials between the upper and lower portions of the trailer, concentrating all the necessary functions in each trailer in the lower part, which does not interfere with the windows, so that no functional volumes appear above waist level.
The furniture pieces that inevitably protrude into the upper portion of the trailer are all designed with mesh or transparent materials or reduced volumes.
To avoid creating excessive contrasts on the exterior shells, we kept the existing texture of the vintage trailer as much as possible, adding minimal modifications such as waterproofing.
Among the functions, sunakku, a type of hostess bar that had flourished in the Showa era and is still part of Japan's unique night culture, was also provided at the client's strong request.
Sunakku, with its distinctive decor, is a place of lively exchange, where the hostess/host interacts with customers over the counter, and customers enjoy conversation and karaoke.
Our design code for the snack bar included velvet upholstered high stools, a karaoke monitor, and solid, luxurious-looking materials to give it a sunakku-like atmosphere.
We needed to consider how to place necessary functions in each room and simultaneously fulfill all the requirements for the vehicles to drive on public roads, such as installing license plates.
Each vehicle has box-like wheelhouses that serve as splash guards, which protrude into the interior. We devised ways to camouflage the wheelhouses so that they remain inconspicuous.
In Bedroom 2, for example, a large bed is placed to cover the wheelhouses, resulting in a floor plan unaffected by the vehicle's structural constraints.
One of the significant challenges in planning a mobile and unconstrained lifestyle is infrastructure.
The specifications of necessary equipment for living, such as electricity and water, vary greatly depending on the number of occupants.
Therefore, we decided to organize infrastructure conditions so three families with eight members can live together without undue patience or stress as much as possible. We also looked at the possibility of going completely off-grid.
But if we wanted to use solar panels, on-site power generation, or other new autonomous decentralized infrastructure instead of relying on public infrastructure for water supply, drainage, and electricity, we would need to shore up the equipment to the point where we would need a separate infrastructure vehicle in addition to the trailers.
This would make travel difficult, essentially negating the original purpose of this project.
Ultimately, we adopted a system that could temporarily connect to the existing infrastructure, using a site in Aoshima, Miyazaki Prefecture, with the open sea in front of it as a base camp while maintaining off-grid compatibility.