Innovation That Matters

Recyclable Travelodge can be built in 12 weeks

Travel & Tourism

Qbic, an innovative Dutch hotel we covered when they launched last year, features units that contain a bed and bathroom as well as a TV, DVD-player. As we pointed out, these ‘cubes’ are manufactured offsite and can be used to quickly and easily create guest rooms in buildings that might not otherwise be deemed suitable for (semi-permanent) use as a hotel, like vacant office buildings. Budget hotel group Travelodge UK recently announced a variation on this theme: a hotel made of steel modules that resemble shipping containers, which are stacked on top of each other like Lego blocks. Each module contains a bedroom and bathroom, with plumbing and wiring ready to hook up to the rest of the units. Once the container-like elements have been bolted together, the structure’s exterior walls are covered with brickwork or other cladding to make them look like any other Travelodge. The construction model was conceived by Verbus, and is currently being used to raise hotels in Uxbridge (opening in June) and Heathrow Airport (opening end of 2008). Although the hotels have yet to open, Verbus and Travelodge have already considered their demise. When the modular lodges have run their course, they can be dismantled and the steel casings can be reused at other sites. Travelodge was purchased by investment firm Dubai International Capital in 2006, and has been rapidly expanding ever since. Modular building will help speed up further expansion, and will also make it feasible to build temporary hotels for major events like the Olympics. Travelodge estimates that a hotel could be built in as little as 12 weeks using the modular construction method. Not quite a pop-up hotel, but definitely an interesting alternative to traditional hotel construction, which should definitely inspire anyone involved in hospitality or building. (Related: Stackable homes.) Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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