Zoku Copenhagen Hotel: Digital Nomads Rejoice!

In a recent report, 4.8 million independent workers self-described themselves as digital nomads, while 17 million, aspire to someday become nomadic.

There are many knowledge workers, and between home or office, these workers are self-described nomads, either with digital project work or an online business, who largely benefit home/office-like comforts in establishments like WeWork, Starbucks, or any place with a solid WiFi connection.

The Zoho Copenhagen Hotel aims to fill this demand for traveling digital nomads who have a serious entrepreneurial spirit and drive.

If you look are most urban architectural development today, single-use is in decline. Municipal building permit teams focus on mixed-use development because of growing land capacity limitations in large urban centers.

In Denmark, the Copenhagen City Council wanted to capitalize on converging trends that support knowledge workers and digital nomads. Copenhagen is an international city and already has a large ex-pat community of employees that work for the United Nations. Similar could be said for technology workers.

The City Council selected Zoku because of its unique ability to improve local communities with beneficial partners and businesses. Founded by Hans Meyer and Marc Jongerius, Zoku is a new type of hotel focused on global nomads, representing a new generation of creative business travelers that mix work and play within a living environment. It was Han

It was Hans, who came up with the initial idea, after leaving CitizenM (affordable luxury) boutique hotels. The concept was molded around younger generations, who mix business with leisure thanks to technology, which liberates work from a single home or traditional office.

Opening in May 2021, Zoku Copenhagen will add to other Zoku developments in Vienna, Amsterdam, and Paris, the latter opening in 2021 as well. Zoku's hashtag screams to the #ENDOFTHEHOTELROOM. Zoku Amsterdam opened its door in 2016.

A bold statement but we believe it’s accurate. WeWork became a proven model for digital nomads, but its growth became tempered as a result of the pandemic, and an over-aggressive, high-cost expansion strategy. That said, demand for these spaces will prevail in a post-pandemic world. Airbnb also proved that people wanted better accommodations beyond the standard or luxury-concept hotel. Glamping graduated from trend to current reality as it continues to become a popular choice for travelers and digital nomads seeking experiences over material gain.

You’ve tried working from home. Now, it’s time to work from anywhere.

-- ZOKU

Table of Contents

  1. The Zoku Hotel
    1. The Entrance
    2. The Living Area
    3. The Living Kitchen
    4. Communal Workspaces
    5. Meeting and Event Area
  2. The Zoku Lofts
  3. New Zoku Lofts
    1. Zoku Compact Loft: For Shorter Stays
    2. Zoku Loft: Movie Room
    3. Zoku Loft: XXL Apartment Style
  4. Zoku: Greenhouse and Terrace
    1. 5th Floor: The Greenhouse
    2. 5th Floor: Terrace
  5. Zoku: Open Floor Plan and Spaces
  6. The Image Gallery
  7. Zoku Copenhagen: Project Factsheet
    1. Ground Floor: Entrance Lobby
    2. 5th Floor: Greenhouse
    3. 5th Floor: Roof Terrace
    4. Living Spaces
    5. Living Kitchen
    6. Workshop Area
    7. Meeting Rooms
    8. Event Space
    9. Guestroom Corridor
    10. Zoku Loft
  8. Project: Zoku Copenhagen
  9. ZOKU Founders
    1. Marc Jongerius
    2. Hans Meyer

The Zoku Hotel

Coming by bike like a typical Copenhagen resident or via a short metro ride from the airport, the building is clearly recognizable due to its iconic Scandinavian red color. The hybrid building is designed by Danish architectural firm Arkitema and is situated on the Amagerfælledvej 108 in the Amager neighborhood. On top of the red brick building block, concrete and Arkitema designed a loose pavilion on the top floor for the public to enjoy as a social space.

Amager (say Ah-Mah), a city island attached to the main island called Zealand (Sjælland), has experienced a rapid development with green areas, modern architectural buildings like Zoku Copenhagen, and even a metro line system. Amager had a much darker past, so dark it was known as the shit island. In the ’70s, the city would dump its trash here but thankfully, smarter minds changed the area for the better! As more countries adopt circular economy principles, our team at EvolutDesign.com sees a future where less trash, more green spaces, and strong community-driven urban centers thrive.

The Entrance

When you approach the building, you’ll see a glimpse of large Zoku letters and the Zoku manifesto on the back wall in a double-height entrance lobby in the heart of the building. While waiting to go up, you can already get acquainted with the city via posters revealing the current cultural activities. The lift then brings you to Zoku’s communal spaces on the 5th and top floor, where you can check-in.

Leaving the city and the green oasis behind and entering the Zoku living room, you’ll feel embraced by the warm, cozy and light interior of the living room and great views over the city center of Copenhagen. If you hadn’t yet registered through the Zoku app, you can do this here at a check-in station next to the bar which is integrated into an open cabinet full of plants and styling elements. A Zoku sidekick will welcome you personally and give you the ins and outs of both Zoku and Copenhagen.

The bar is the beating heart of the living room. It is divided into three parts: the coffee table, the beer table, and the central bar. Start your day with a morning coffee, grab a slice of cake, read the papers or have an (alcoholic) drink with snacks throughout the day. And, most importantly, get to know your neighbors at the high oak tables at the rear. The bar in the center, clad with navy blue handmade tiles, allows you to hang out and chat with your friends.

This bar features a non-traditional design without back or front; if you like, you can get your own coffee or tap your own beer, while there’s always a sidekick available to assist if needed.

The Living Area

The bar is surrounded by cozy seating areas, where you can retreat alone or with friends, just to chat, work or eat and drink. When you decide to sit here, the transparent cabinets, made of white steel structures filled with plants and styling elements associated with home, work & play enable you to remain connected to the bar area. If you want to sit more quietly, you can join your friends around the fireplace, tucked away in a quieter living room, work at long communal oak tables or have an informal meeting at the round table on top of a huge “kanelsnegle” carpet.

The Living Kitchen

From the living rooms, you can step into the living kitchen, the buzzing heart of the social spaces with an open and homely character. While the chef prepares delicious dishes in his professional kitchen, you can take a seat and chat with him at the high oak table while waiting for your meal. The kitchen offers everything a chef could need, including a pizza oven, green egg, and a plethora of equipment hidden behind the bar clad in handmade navy blue tiles.

The living kitchen serves locally sourced, fresh, healthy food quickly and conveniently with ingredients from the rooftop garden. You can share a meal with your neighbors or locals, host small dinner parties, meet others on the long communal tables, or keep working at one of the sofas where you enjoyed breakfast. The living kitchen opens up to a sheltered terrace that faces south; ideal for an outdoor lunch.

Communal Workspaces

After going through another small corridor, you will enter the communal working area. The corridor itself gives access to the toilets and phone booths. These phone booths are a quiet spot to call your mom and the perfect place for a private breakfast. The communal working space is part of Zoku’s better together spaces concept. It’s the place where you can come together with a bigger group or have an informal meeting at the large & playful table tennis table and iconic Danish design chairs.

When the meeting is concluded or more inspiration is needed, a game of ping pong ensures a fun break, while the high and low tables and soft seating offer the perfect workspace, whatever your preference. An open steel cabinet filled with plants, tools for working or fixing your bike serves as a visual barrier between the two meeting rooms: one with a round table and a ‘work is not a job’ look & feel and a full whiteboard wall to express your thoughts, and another larger and more colorful & comfortable meeting room that is anything but boring.

Worked too much, need a break, or want to watch your favorite sports? You are in the right place. Attached to the living room is the game room that can be closed off physically with glass doors and visually with a white steel cabinet. This room is soundproof, so you can watch TV or play games without disturbing other guests. The game room has a Lego theme. After all, Zoku believes it is important that you don’t forget to play. The floor has a custom print carpet full of Lego blocks and the walls are clad with Lego base-plates. You can feel free to play and create your own mural art piece in the Lego that can be found in the containers behind the u-shaped sofa. This communal sofa allows you to get together with a bigger group or sit back and play a video game available from the trolley underneath the tv.

Meeting and Event Area

At the end of the communal working area, there’s one more small corridor leading to the event space(s). This corridor features a wardrobe for the event space, as well as two big meeting booths which offer a quiet spot for a quick informal meeting or a good break-out spot for events.

The event space is the biggest in the building and can be divided into two with mobile panel walls. Both spaces have a kitchen with coffee, lunch, or bar facilities that can be opened by a sliding door. In addition, both feature a big steel cabinet with styling elements and a fireplace. The event space is not a rigidly designed space like in a conference center but was instead designed to host events with the atmosphere of a birthday party with too many people at home. This means informal set-ups with colored foam blocks that can function as seats, foldable tables or walls, and a mix of chairs and sofas for hosting small workshops, yoga lessons, catwalk shows, large-scale conferences, or company dinners.

The Zoku Lofts

A living loft at Zoku is much more than just a hotel room. It is a spacious micro-apartment, or, better yet, the ‘Zoku Loft’. Here, Zoku and concrete identified, designed, and positioned all functions and needs of the global nomad intelligently, creating an interior module that enhances the sense of spaciousness and functionality. The Zoku Loft provides a stylish and spatial feel due to its flexible interior with a focus on the living and working space instead of the sleeping area. Instead of the bed, the central element is a four-person table that can be used to work, eat or relax. The Zoku Loft offers a spacious experience in a room of at least 258 square feet.

The living area consists of a comfortable two-seater sofa that allows guests to relax, receive company, read a book or watch TV. The sofa by stylish and top-quality Danish furniture brand HAY was specifically adapted for Zoku. A thick, soft carpet has been placed on the bamboo floor in front.

The dining and working table is positioned close to the sofa. It is ideal for inviting guests for work appointments, enjoying a (self-made) meal, or an evening of fun and games. The rectangular solid bamboo tabletop is combined with four ‘Fibre Chairs’ by Muuto. The lamp above the table by the same brand is called ‘Fluid’.

The kitchen is located behind the table. Its clever design offers all the necessary comforts with equipment by Siemens, including an induction cooker, sink, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, microwave, and coffee machine. The worktop and back wall of the kitchen consists of quartz composite, while the cabinets and doors are made of a multiplex with a smooth white epoxy finish. The material typifies the general style of the Zoku Loft and is also used for other fixed furniture elements such as the bed.

The king-size bed can be reached via the iconic retractable stairs. Various functions have been placed below the bed, such as a retractable clothing cabinet, a TV, and a work unit. The sleeping area, the most private part of the loft, can be screened off further by closing the semi-transparent wooden folding door. Contrary to standard hotel rooms, this makes the Zoku Loft ideal for receiving guests for either business appointments or casual get-togethers.

The drop-off unit, located in an alcove below the bed, offers a variety of office equipment and is the perfect spot for sending a quick e-mail or storing a laptop.

The wall of the Zoku Loft features a black steel U-shaped profile, which not only supports the retractable stairs but can also be used to place framed art or photos. Zoku allows guests to choose these pieces following their own tastes to provide the loft with a more personal character. The opposite wall features a steel strip, which can be used as a memo magnet.

The high windows (which let lots of daylight enter the Zoku Loft) are covered with elegant, white voile curtains that filter the bright sunlight, as well as black-out curtains that can be closed before bedtime.

The bathroom is situated next to the entrance. An oak medicine cabinet has been placed above the ceramic sink, and a hanging toilet is located opposite. The very spacious shower at the back of the bathroom can be closed off from the sink and toilet area with a sandblasted glass door. The back wall of the shower is completely covered with a mirror to optically double the size of the space.

New Zoku Lofts

Zoku Compact Loft: For Shorter Stays

In addition to the two standard Zoku lofts, a wide and a deep version, concrete developed three new loft types for Copenhagen specifically.

The Zoku room, a more compact version (185.14 square feet) of the standard loft intended for short(er)-stay guests. It still has everything you need for your stay but at a smaller scale, like a minibar instead of a refrigerator and a loveseat instead of a sofa. It is also more colorful and bolder.

Zoku Loft: Movie Room

Another new loft is the movie room. Here Zoku adds its unique twist to the required disabled room. Instead of being dictated by regulations, the room also offers more luxury and fun with a bigger bathroom that features a luxury vanity and crazy styling. The room itself can be transformed into a private cinema with a large projector screen, so you can binge-watch in bed all weekend.

Zoku Loft: XXL Apartment Style

The Copenhagen Zoku also features the XXL loft, which has more of an apartment-style with a separate bedroom, walk-in closet, and a huge kitchen. Moreover, the loft is connected to a standard loft to accommodate families or groups at Zoku as well.

Zoku: Greenhouse and Terrace

5th Floor: The Greenhouse

Arriving on the top floor, concrete designed a greenhouse that’s full of lush green and daylight. Leaving the bustling city behind, you’ll walk through the green oasis that guides you to the social spaces, providing a sneak peek of all the social spaces and terraces Zoku has to offer through the glass.

5th Floor: Terrace

The greenhouse is surrounded by terraces. Each terrace has its own function: a pond, planters, a herb garden, and a hammock island surrounded by a rooftop garden. The public rooftop garden allows residents and locals to experience the seasons in the middle of an urban environment. Adjacent to the greenhouse and communal spaces, the terraces provide a great spot to relax and enjoy great views over the city.

Zoku: Open Floor Plan and Spaces

An open floor plan that accommodates all kinds of communal & social spaces, designed as a sequence of separate rooms connected by corridors, as reflected in the architecture

-- CONCRETE

Zoku Copenhagen: Project Factsheet

Ground Floor: Entrance Lobby

FLOORNatural Stone, doormat
WALLSPainted white, bulletin board poster wall, black glass from ACG
GLASS PARTITION WALLMHB
CEILINGPlastered and Painted White
LAMPSBespoke Zoku letters by DanSign A/S
FURNITUREBespoke bench by
Chr. Juul Andersen A/s

5th Floor: Greenhouse

GREENHOUSEDrivadan A/S (DK)
FLOORResin floor by Bolidt
LAMPSNordlux & Modular
BENCHWeltevree

5th Floor: Roof Terrace

FLOORModiwood
ROOF GARDENArkitema & Concrete
FURNITUREChr. Juul Andersen A/S

Living Spaces

FLOOROak, resin floor, and carpet
WALLSBespoke oak strips
CEILINGSAcoustic ceiling by Sto-silent
LAMPSMuuto, HAY, bespoke fixtures by Frandsen, a cloud of Artimide lamps
FURNITUREHAY & Muuto & bespoke furniture by Chr. Juul Andersen A/S

Living Kitchen

FLOORWinckelman tiles, oak
WALLSWinckelman tiles, bespoke white oak strips
CEILINGPlastered and painted white
LAMPSMuuto and bespoke fixtures by Frandsen
KITCHEN SUPPLIESBronnum
FURNITUREChr. Juul Andersen A/S

Workshop Area

FLOOROak
WALLSBespoke oak strips, white pegboard
FURNITUREMutto, HAY, Chr. Juul Andersen A/S

Meeting Rooms

FLOOROak flooring, glass partition walls by MHB
WALLSMagnetic whiteboard and bespoke oak strips
CEILINGPlastered and painted white
FURNITUREMuuto, Chr. Juul Andersen A/s

Event Space

FLOOROak
WALLSPlastered and painted white & black
CEILINGPlastered and painted white
FURNITUREMuuto, Chr. Juul Andersen A/s

Guestroom Corridor

FLOORBespoke carpet by EGE
WALLSPlastered and painted white, blackboard squares
CEILINGCable trays
LAMPSBespoke tube-lights by Frandsen

Zoku Loft

FLOORBamboo floor by bembe
WALLS/CEILINGPainted/plastered white
FURNITURE PIECEBespoke by Smeulders
FURNITUREHAY

Project: Zoku Copenhagen

CLIENTZoku Founders
Hans Meyer, Marc Jongerius
DESIGNER
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
Concrete
in collaboration with Zoku
ARCHITECT: BuildingArkitema Architects (DK)
Lendager Group
ARCHITECT: LandscapeArkitema Architects (DK)
PHOTOGRAPHYEwout Huibers
START CONSTRUCTIONNovember 2018
PROJECT DURATION28 months
ROKU COPENHAGEN LAUNCH OPENINGMAY 2021
NUMBER OF ROOMS160
TOTAL AREA69158.12 Square Feet
CONTRACTOR BUILDINGEinar kornerup a/s (DK)
BESPOKE SIGNAGEDanSign a/s (DK)
BESPOKE LIGHTINGFrandsen (DK)
TDE Lighttech (NL)
BESPOKE FURNITUREChr. Juul Andersen a/s (DK)
LOOSE FURNITUREMuuto (DK)
Hay (DK)
ROOM MODULESmeulders (NL)

ZOKU Founders

Marc Jongerius

Marc Jongerius is co-founder and managing director of Zoku, a re-invented apartment hotel concept that enables global living and working for the independent traveling professional. Digital nomads rejoice! Marc leads acquisition, development, international roll-out, strategic partnerships, and asset management for Zoku, an international chain for work, play, and stay.

Before Zoku, Marc was a partner for a Netherlands-based buyout fund and his active experience in the private equity sector spanned more than ten years. Before his venture capital days, he spent time at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as an auditor and mergers and acquisition services consultant serving large international companies.

He remains active as a member of the investment committee for a Mezzanine Investment Fund and a member of advisory boards. His passion for entrepreneurship has led him to coach entrepreneurs and startups to find the best strategies for better business models. His expertise is supported by a Master’s Degree in Business Economics from Erasmus University in The Netherlands and Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille in France.

Hans Meyer

Before his current role as Co-founder and Managing Director for Zoku, Hans Meyer was Managing Director for Blooming Groep and Managing Director for HotelsAhead, a Dutch-based consultancy specialized in the international hotel industry.

In an interesting LinkedIn article, he identified millennial consumers as a generation that has shifted expectations towards access and convenience versus the burden of homeownership. He supports this claim, suggesting that sixty percent of those aged 25-34, choose to rent versus buying a property because it is less of a hassle.

Thanks to the rise of the sharing economy, the millennial generation has removed itself from car and homeownership, instead of using car-sharing services (ZipCar) and office collaboration workspaces (pre-pandemic, of course) such as WeWork. The act of sharing has normalized on-demand and subscription-based living for this demographic. He may be right. Millennials are also forcing retailers to provide options that allow younger buyers to obtain furniture and other big-ticket items with payment models like Afterpay, which allows installment payments over a short time frame. Millennials are refusing to assume debt with high-interest credit cards.

Mr. Meyer believes leasing and buying properties are inflexible and old-fashioned, designed for a static past when people worked in the same job from cradle to grave. He believes the residential market is narrowly focused on family housing, while city planners and developers continue to measure home value in square footage.

Since fifty-five percent of the global population lives in cities (expected to rise to 68% by 2050 – this – now depends on how the impact of the COVID19 pandemic changes how people live in cities as there is evidence of younger people flocking to less populated or rural towns and cities), digital knowledge workers can work from almost anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection. Does it make sense for them to commit to homeownership?

Rapid urbanization has made the cost of living expenses and millennials and older generations have found it difficult to find an affordable and comfortable lifestyle in cities due to increasing real estate values.

Hans Meyer believes this challenge can be overcome if a higher quality of life can be provided for the same price as a regular apartment. Time will tell if the sharing or on-demand renters (subscription) economy will take hold over time. For his complete article, please visit LinkedIn.