Apartments of the future, what are they? And are they here to stay?
Last month, our CEO Simon Catterick, joined this webinar hosted by George Sell, Editor-in-Chief of IHM (International Hospitality Media). The discussion was around the ‘apartment of the future’ and included commentary from:
- Alex Van Pelt – UK & Ireland Development Manager at Adagio Aparthotels (Linkedin)
- Paul Rands – Managing Director, Future of Hospitality Institute & Head of Serviced Living at PKF hospitality group (Linkedin)
- Paul Wells – Partner at Dexter Moren Associates; specialising in hospitality and residential design (Linkedin)
You can watch the recording below on YouTube
A few insights pulled from the talk:
Paul (Dexter Moren Associates)
- Private spaces were getting smaller, with front of house areas demanding more space but perhaps this is levelling off as the pandemic changes how much time we’re spending in our private spaces.
- Apartment sizes are levelling off because people are spending more time in them [covid].
- Workspaces for the commuter remains important. Reliable wifi, plug sockets, comfy work chair etc – these all play into the space.
- “You have to create a space that is flexible and comfortable” – adaptable furniture that can fold away or dual purpose.
- Modular construction is being looked at. It’s less prevalent, certainly in urban areas where neat rectangular spaces aren’t always available.
- Interiors are becoming flexible e.g. shift to reusing furniture, works for eclectic and boutique brands. Storage shelving with curious oddities and local interest.
- Design & development process – sustainability – who is the onus on? Tends to be on the element designer, where the products are being sourced from. But also taking into account the entire build process – and it’s used and operated – architects have less control over that.
- Adagio are working on new studio designs whereby room types are smaller
- Access brand – economy positioned – spaces are already pretty compact – 19sqm and the largest 25sqm. Multi-functional furniture is key to make spaces comfortable.
- In terms of development, viability is easier (raising costs) but from a consumer point of view, certainly for one bed units – it’s not so noticeable.
- Co-living concept has been developed by Adagio, 4* brands, right through to one bed apartments. Bedrooms are 15sqm, ensuite, the sink is outside. And then with contractable communal space – table, sofa area, fully equipped kitchen with white goods. This is to challenge the growing Airbnb market, and attract new groups into properties.
Simon (mission : net zero)
- We’re seeing a shift in stakeholder attitudes into ESG. Top down, bottom up approach.
- Historically, certain stakeholders felt ESG was a tickbox exercise. But clearly that has changed and we’re seeing many new buildings having the likes of BREEAM applied as standard.
- Brands are adopting their own ESG platforms as well as consumer-aware green certification.
- Role of technology – seeing the adoption of retrofitting energy and water saving measures in existing properties.
- Efficient heating and ventilation systems – fundamental. Rise of intelligent VMS also
- Adoption of mobile apps – ability to put utility usage into the hands of customers.
- The use of tech in rooms is incredible important to help the guest understand the journey of said hotel and brand driver (apps, in-room TV communications)
- The future will be smaller.
- The evolution of service apartments comes from being an adaptation of a residential product into a brand product.
- Cubo (Sweden) wooden modules that slot into a terminal, but these are adaptable so bigger spaces can be created. You own the module, and can transfer it elsewhere – possibly a future gazing element.
- In-room technology – great wifi – connectivity with the TV screen – basic level requirements.
- Booking and arrival processes – remote access and sophisticated ways of letting guests turn-up late and check-in without disruption.
If you work in the aparthotel market, we welcome your thoughts about the future of this exciting growth area – contact us here.