When we're looking for somewhere to stay, sometimes it needs to cater for both leisure and work. The Zoku Loft does just this. The rentable 25 sq m (269 sq ft) micro-apartment is a home-office hybrid that uses clever design to squeeze a host of features into its limited space, including a small kitchen, a recessed working area and slide in/out stairs to a screened loft.
"The advance of technology has changed personal and professional lifestyles," says Zoku co-founder and managing director Hans Meyer. "Boundaries between work and leisure are fading, and blurring borders have made people more mobile than ever."
Although a shade larger than the innovative 21 sq m (226 sq ft) Berlin apartment that we featured earlier in the month, the Zoku Loft is trying to do more by combining hybrid-living with compact-living for short-stay guests. It does, however, take a similar approach, using a built-in unit to shape the room, hidden spaces to provide storage and multi-functional features for versatility.
The loft effectively splits functional space and living space, with its built-in unit at one end that rises up both sides of the entrance passageway and across the top. Contained in one side of the unit is a bathroom and on the other side of the passageway is an alcove desk and various spaces for storage. Around the corner, there is a small kitchen area.
Across from the kitchen, there is more slide-out storage space (including a wardrobe), shelving and a space for a TV. Ingeniously, a retractable staircase also slides in and out of the unit, saving space when it is not in use. The steps lead up to a sleeping space, with wooden screens that allow it to be hidden from view when there are visitors or when a more formal, work-type setting is required in the room.
The mood of the loft can be further altered using its dimmable lights, which can create a more cozy or work-focused atmosphere depending on what is required. Another simple, central feature of the space is a four-person table at which it is possible to work, dine or just relax.
In addition to the facilities within the loft, Zoku offers communal social areas, co-working spaces and a residential living kitchen so people can share meals.
The first Zoku "hotel" is due to open in Amsterdam towards the end of this year, with more planned to follow around the globe subsequently.
The video below shows some of the space-saving features in the Zoku apartment.