Woonq Blog

your doors to more information

Archive for the 'Technology' Category

03 23rd, 2010

In a world where people appreciate good design everywhere, cool mini hotel rooms are the latest ‘it’ trend. In Tokyo, the Capsule Inn exemplifies the bare-essentials hotel rooms for brief use, and similar concepts are popping up at airports, train stations and downtowns around the world, replacing and mimicking the “day rooms” already existing at many airports.

Unlike Tokyo’s bed-only cabins where customers climb into a human equivalent of a honeycomb for a night’s rest, Yotel pods at Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam come in larger and more comfortable formats. These self-contained mini hotel rooms are equipped with a bed, table, HD TV and Wi-Fi.

The fourth Yotel is set to arrive in New York in 2011 with a location opening on 42nd and 10th street boasting 669 luxury rooms and the largest outside terrace in any hotel in New York

Also in Amsterdam, Citizen M has a hotel with 230 mini rooms at Schiphol Airport and a 215-room hotel in Amsterdam City. Citizen M plans to open similar hotels across Europe.

Qbic Hotels has opened two “cheap chic” hotels with mini rooms in the Netherlands: Qbic World Trade Centre Amsterdam and Qbic Maastricht, plus one in Antwerp, Belgium.

Taking the next step in rest and space efficiency, Russia’s Arch Group designed the SleepBox.

Along with an airport version of the rest pod, equipped with the usual, high-tech necessities offered by other companies, Arch Group has also designed an easy-to-relocate version fit for hostels. A small, mobile compartment, 2m (l) x 1.4m (w) x 2.3m (h), SleepBox is made of wood and MDF. SleepBox is meant to “allow very efficient use of available space and, if necessary, a quick change of layout”, making it perfect for hostels where demand and space available often come in conflict with each other. The hostel-specific SleepBox features bunk beds, flip-out tables and sockets for computers or phone chargers and not much else.


Turning Torso

Turning Torso is a high-rise building in Malmö, consisting of nine cubes twisting towards the waterfront. Turning Torso houses top-quality apartments, offices and conference rooms and, at the time of completion (27 August 2005), is the second tallest residential tower in Europe after the 264m-high Triumph-Palace in Moscow andthe tallest building in Scandinavia.


Turning Torso Sweden


Turning Torso Residential Tower



The Torso has been selected by the City of Malmö Government as a landmark for the new development, though it also meets the requirement for dense habitation. Local authorities organised an exhibition to choose a high-rise building for this purpose and invited the local housing cooperative, HSB, to participate.

Only well-known architects were supposed to participate in the exhibition,” explains HSB project director Ingvar Nohlin, “and that’s why Santiago Calatrava was approached. He had participated in the Oresund Link competition but was not selected.

In fact, this 190m (623ft) tower is based on a sculpture by the Zurich-based architect. Sharing the name of its much larger brother, Turning Torso depicts a human body contorting around its spine in an upward movement. Calatrava included a photograph of the work as part of his Oresund submission, where it was spotted by HSB’s former managing director, Johnny Orback, who convinced Calatrava to design a building based on this concept.


Sweden has perhaps the most far-reaching environmental legislation in Europe, along with a comprehensive welfare system, so it is no surprise that central services are a high priority. Indeed, Western Harbour is being promoted as a global leader in urban sustainability. For heating, Torso connects to power utility Sydkraft’s system, which uses 100% locally renewable energy. This is obtained from a variety of sources, including solar power, wind, bedrock and water.

Torso plays its part, with organic waste from the building ground down in kitchen waste disposal units, then transported though separate pipes for decomposition and biogas production at Malmö’s waste incinerator and heat plant. In addition, Torso residents will be given training in such systems via a local TV system.

As for safety, all security systems have independent reserve power supplies, including lifts, sprinklers and emergency lighting. There is also a double water supply system, again with its own power supply.

12 9th, 2008

MMA Architects recently completed a home built out of timber and sandbags – and became the winner of the Curry Stone Foundation Prize this year. This sandbag house was built for a mere $6,000, making it affordable for low-income housing.

Sandbag Houses

sandbag house

sandbag house

MMA Architects

sandbag house

10 30th, 2007


Here is something to really to think about. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes posts an interesting thought stating that Apple should sell Windows-based Macs to take things to a new level. He says this could boost their revenues and beat the other PC sellers like
Hewlett-Packard and Acer’s worldwide shipments.

Personally, I think that would be a disaster. Some people buy Macs just to get away from the norm like Windows and make sure they never even touch Microsoft stuff. If Apple start selling more Windows stuff, the hard core Apple lovers may just jump ship and left Apple in the dust. Gee, all this would be a scary thought right? I’d much prefer seeing Apple coming with more cool stuff instead of following the norm and try to beat Nokia’s launch of Symbian touch sensitive phones next year.