Nowadays, less and less people are staying in hotels and instead, are opting for more affordable, more sociable options like Airbnb, Couchsurfing, camping, and hostels to rest their weary heads on their jollies. Embracing this trend, Beijing-based Cao Pu Studio have designed and created a hostel that is inspired by outdoor music festivals, where guests sleep in their own, indoor “tent”.
However, instead of the great outdoors, mud, LSD and wellies, they have opted for clean, timber structured tents that are carefully stacked, overlapped and interspersed within interactive social spaces.
The hostel, which has been designed to encourage strangers to socialize, occupies one open-plan floor of a hotel. This larger shell is referred to by the architects as a “huge tent”, where the guests can cook, eat, drink, play and socialize in. Within this larger tent, they have arranged timber framed structures with frosted polycarbonate cladding, that act as individual tents in which one or two people can sleep.
As you will find in most half-decent hostels, each sleeping “tent” is also equipped with personal plug sockets and lights. Many of the sleeping tents are stacked in an overlapping fashion to ensure the first floor sleeper has a ledge to climb up onto to get into their little tent. Needless to say, for anyone who has actually stayed in a hostel, the double stacked tents with ladders are far more reminiscent of standard bunk bed hostels rather than a music festival.
Some of the tents are clustered together to make small “zones”, meant for groups of friends and those who want a little more privacy. This seems a little counterproductive to a hostel that is attempting to foster new social interactions and experiences and seems to negate the social benefits of having no walls to partition separate rooms within the hostel. Furthermore, whilst the open plan design makes the space incredibly light, how on earth the guests will get any sleep with all that light is a question that keeps popping to mind.
There is, however, no denying that one of the funnest things about staying in a tent is the cozy, den-like feeling and, in this respect, the design is playful and successfully appeals to the inner child in us. In the same way that children build a den in a living-room, here, they have built a more private, closed off space within a larger space. It is this, coupled with the aesthetically pleasing and interesting design of the hostel that will bring guests to the hostel. However, whether or not it will foster anymore social interaction than your standard youth hostel remains to be seen.
On the whole, it strikes me more as a beautiful, fun looking hostel as opposed to a cutting-edge social interactive design and should be merited purely on that basis.