DistrictHive, the architectural project born to change the rules of the game
- This capsule hotel (podtel) offers a new concept of experiential luxury tourism, pushing boundaries through architecture
- An international team of architects, designers and engineers have collaborated in its execution
- The first DistrictHive module is located in the desert of Gorafe (Granada) and can be rented through its website, Booking and Airbnb.
Madrid, December 2021. Architecture as a way to transformation; as a tool to change pre-established standards and to seek a constant and increasingly intelligent improvement in the way in which we interact with our environment. This is the key and the true commitment of the DistrictHive® project (www.districthive.com) from its purely architectural and constructive approach. Something that, at first glance, may sound simple but, as its creators confess, is enormously complex at all levels.
Project: DistrictHive Gorafe – Granada
Year of completion: 2021
Constructed area: 35m2
IP, Lead, Design, Software and Technical Engineering: DistrictHive, PT
Construction, Site, Licensing and Technical Integrations: Moho Architects, ES
Interior Architecture – Novono, DE
Software, APP and Full Stack Engineering: Infowijs, NL
Investors: Prometheus International, PT
3D & Rendering – Prometheus International, MU
Brand Schema – IWantDesign, UK
“Challenges are our thing, we love to face the impossible and make a difference by making what nobody thinks is feasible,” says Priyesh Patel, CEO of the Portugal-based company Districthive LDA, promoter and creator of the first 100% autonomous and self-sufficient podtel (capsule hotel), which has already conquered the world from its location in the desert of Gorafe (Granada). “And undertaking a project of this magnitude and with this basis entails,” he continues, “an enormous responsibility. Especially when what you are looking for is to completely change the concept of luxury tourism that we had until now and put the real focus on the enjoyment of the environment, the unique, wild and beautiful landscape that nature offers us, but respecting it to the maximum, connecting with it.” “We have achieved this through two of the most powerful tools there are: architecture and technology. So we have sought out and involved here the best professionals in their field.”
DistrictHive is, therefore, a multidisciplinary, multifaceted project, born out of the cooperation and work between international teams, led by the Spanish firm MOHO Arquitectos. Carlos Abadía, founding partner of the studio and architect in charge of the project, explains that DistrictHive has been designed as a landscape and energy capturing device. “It is a capsule that draws from the surrounding environment, nature and climate. It is a living space focused on sustainable tourism that puts us in front of nature, helping us to contemplate the beauty and magic of climatic events.”
Industrialized and design construction
The podtel is a fully industrialized construction that is offered finished, transported to the site and in a few hours is ready to be used. It does not touch the ground on which it sits, has no foundations and does not require any type of piping, plumbing or sanitation. The support system developed has 6 legs that, like a spaceship landed on Mars, rest on the ground.
At ground level, the building is a small module of 35m2 divided into several spaces: a bathroom, a kitchen-living-dining room, a bedroom (a double bed and a hidden double bed), multifunctional modular closets and shelves, and a small and necessary installation room where all the technical equipment is kept. The podtel also has an open terrace for stargazing. In addition, all the furniture, storage spaces, walls and finishes, have been made with maximum detail and care so that the final result was design, in the pursue of an intentional image of luxury and warmth. The interior design has been carefully designed by the German studio Novono.
The entire DistrictHive construction process was carried out in the workshop using dry construction solutions, for which it was extremely important to detail each of the components that make up the project with millimetric precision. “This has been the biggest challenge for us. Normally architecture allows for certain tolerances, but in this type of construction there can be no deviations,” explains Abadía, who goes on to say that “a project as small as this one involves great complexities that must be solved without losing sight of the quality of the projected design. This way of working is a little different from the professional practice carried out in our office and when the rules of the game change, small resistances appear, but the key, as always, is to adapt and enjoy the way”. And he highlights, on the other hand, one of the great advantages of this type of industrialized buildings and that is that “they have they can be replicated. Once you have made the first one and have detected possible points of improvement, you have a product to enter the market with much shorter execution times and an optimization of all the construction processes”.
And it is precisely because of this that the Gorafe podtel is intended to be the first of many others that will continue to be installed in different remote and beautiful places on the planet to form what Priyesh Patel has already called the “Podtel Colony”. “This is an innovative global project that has only just begun and also offers the possibility of being replicated to be sold to private developers, hotels or other types of investors,” adds the CEO of the project.
Sustainability and self-sufficiency
Sustainability and self-sufficiency. Two of the other premises listed in the needs program of this avant-garde project, and also achieved. DistrictHive has become the first 100% self-sufficient and sustainable module that values nature by accessing it without leaving a trace. The impact on the territory is zero at an environmental level since no resources of the site are consumed. Once removed, the location would remain in the same state as it was before.
This eco-hotel is capable of generating its own water from ambient humidity and air, its own electricity from solar energy, has its own sewage management by transforming waste into ashes, and gray water is filtered through two filtering processes so that the water serves as irrigation water. The total autonomy of the module makes common and complementary services unnecessary, thus optimizing resources and guaranteeing a reduction in the carbon footprint.
And all this is possible, as Abadía comments, “thanks to the technological contribution, which allows us to do it completely offgrid. But, in addition, the use of high-performance materials has been focused on generating the most sustainable and comfortable construction possible, guaranteeing continuous insulation, insulating glass, ventilated facades… The technical requirements to include all the technological devices and material thicknesses in such small spaces, where every centimeter counts, imply a very precise work. So much so that, during the process, we thought a lot about the process followed to develop vehicles”.
Likewise, the architect also highlights the harmonious interaction of all the international teams (designers, interior designers and engineers) that have collaborated and worked to make DistrictHive see the light of day after years of work. “We have formed a great team of professionals from Portugal, Amsterdam, Germany, the UK and Spain and we have all been involved in the development of the project down to the smallest detail. During the process we have been solving all the incidences together, generating a lot of collective and specific knowledge. This has been the key to incorporate the different disciplines and competencies to the development”. And he ends by saying how much MOHO Architects has gained during the process. “Making DistrcitHive has taught us new ways of working, managing, thinking and solving. We have learned how from small things we can change the rules of the game, how we can act in a very positive way in the natural environment and generate synergies; how from architecture we can improve and help in the search for new models that guarantee an intelligent use of the surrounding environments and natural resources. We are at a key moment in which future developments have to ask themselves many of the questions that we have asked ourselves in this project to be able to respond with a committed architecture, with conscience, that somehow tries to modestly imitate nature while taking advantage of everything it gives us”.
“Creating a self-sufficient, sustainable and transportable project that is also a good teaching resource has been a precious adventure,” he concludes.
Live the DistrictHive experience!
DistrictHive (www.districthive.com) The world’s first truly autonomous podtel (capsule hotel). The podtel is self-sufficient, environmentally friendly, energy independent and is fully activated through its App “DISTRICTHIVE“, downloadable for Apple and Android. A concierge service is available 24/7 on the App to help guests with whatever they need. The App also has a neat information page for activities, restaurants and other recommendations. The podtel is fully equipped and has 35m2 of usable space, of which 30m2 are indoors. A sanctuary for travelers, social media fanatics, explorers and digital humans.
This capsule hotel is the first of the so-called Podtel Colony, a novel and innovative concept of high-end self-contained luxury accommodations that will be scattered in different parts of the world, all of them secluded and with the most spectacular views and surroundings. The goal is to provide guests with an unparalleled tourist experience for the enjoyment and delight of all the senses. Rentals at www.districthive.com, Booking and Airbnb.