Capsule hotels, a model which stacks multiple sleeping units into a single grid format, has a firm footing in cities across Japan and, in recent years, has seen a surge in popularity across the globe.
Some airports - including London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol - offer sleep ‘pods’ complete with workspace, televisions and enough space to stand. This is a gross enhancement on the space afforded to those using the more traditional capsule hotel, which often means simple sleeping pods stacked in rows.
The general appeal of these alternative hotel units is the reduced cost, with prices often much below that of the standard hotel room. Shared facilities are usually on hand and the pods booked for a set period of time.
This tried and tested model has been taken as the inspiration for a new hostel in Antwerp called ASH (Antwerp Student Hostel). The property has been developed by Belgian firm Today for Tomorrow with the Japanese form of the capsule hotel as a guiding influence.
Beds can be found in the traditional hostel bunk bed format or the capsule hotel bed style, with shared shower facilities and a communal kitchen. Across the development there are 63 rooms and 48 hostel beds.
The developer states that the capsule bed option offers ‘a luxurious private space with a high-end finish’, with each pod benefitting from a locker and private ventilation. It is suggested that this mode of accommodation breaks down the boundaries and encourages new friendships to blossom.
Architect: Joris Olbrechts
Interior design: DMG Architectural Solutions BVBA
Stability design: Studiebureel Michel Brosens bvba
Ingeneers: Jeroen Van Ruijssevelt; Tom Mertens