Can June come around quicker please so we can fly to Amsterdam and stay at the awesome Zoku? We’re totally obsessing over these home-office hybrid spaces, with the services of a hotel and the buzz of a thriving neighborhood.
A cross between a travel space, living space, and workspace (our three favorite things), these self-contained micro apartments use space intelligently to provide guests with a home-away-from-home kind of vibe. It’s like AirB’n’B but with smarter features and no disturbances! The emphasis is on combining comfort and efficiency for work and play for entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals, project managers, and free movers-and-shakers. Ah…that’s like totally us! (“Zoku,” by the way, is a Japanese word for “family,” “tribe,” or “clan.” It was a cultural movement in Japan in the 90s, where people with the same lifestyle lived together.)
The Zoku Loft comes in three sizes (Zoku Loft, Zoku Loft XL, and Zoku Loft XXL), ranging from 24m2 to 46m2. Whereas in a regular hotel room or studio apartment, the bed dominates, at Zoku the big kitchen table serves as focal point. Use it to work across time zones, host dinner parties, or gently rest your head after making a deadline, Zoku suggests. We’ll do all three, we thinks.
There’s an elevated sleeping area, with a comfy king-size bed, which can be screened off for visitors. Sliding doors hide away the bathroom’s spacious shower and there’s a fully stocked kitchen, complete with a Nespresso coffee machine, essential for all those late nights. (And if it’s good enough for Clooney, it’s good enough for us!) The XXL loft has a second sleeping space, which is a complete bedroom, extra wide doors, and a wheelchair accessible bathroom with a larger shower area.
The lofts are furnished with pieces by Danish design brand Muuto, which makes innovative, minimalist furniture that perfectly matches the ethos of the accommodation. There’s also plenty of storage space for suitcases (SheRa girls don’t travel light), and—most importantly—a sweet little alcove desk complete with office supplies. You can even get an extra office toolbox, with a printer, paper, notebook, paperclips, post-its, and markers thrown in. There have been many a times when I have found myself in a charming but totally unequipped hotel room, inspired by an idea, with nothing to write it down on. (Granted I always carry around a notebook but these babies get filled up quickly.)
The wifi is of course free, but also promises to be fast and reliable, the sheets are 100% organic, there is LED dimmable lighting, as well as plenty of power outlets and a 32-inch television to catch up on all your fave shows—even the ventilation is smart and silent. There’s also a collection of cacti plants around the room for all your green thumbs out there and you can even swap the art on your walls to personalize to your liking. (I’ll take the Yayoi Kusama, thanks.)
But besides being your home away from home, Zoku also offers a plethora of awesome social spaces. In fact, Zoku’s mission is to “bring global nomads together.” The geniuses behind Zoku endeavor to mix together like-minded individuals under one roof. Regular events bring guests in direct contact with inspiring individuals and companies—to exchange concepts, products, and life lessons. The ultimate goal is to become the city’s international living room, abuzz with shoptalk, small talk, and deep thoughts.
There’s a bar, a living room, a kitchen, co-working areas, green spaces, and tailored retail on premises, in addition to a treatment room, a gym, a game room, music corner, locker room, launderette, guest pantries, and a “decompression room,” where you can take a shower after a long flight when your room is not ready yet for check-in. They guys have really thought of everything!
Although rentable by the night, Zoku Lofts are especially designed for those seeking a temporary residence for between five days and several months. It’s the perfect place to stay this summer and finish that novel you’ve been working on, or put the plans in motion for the next life-changing app.
The lofts are centrally located on the Weesperstraat, in Amsterdam’s eastern canal district. It is a three-minute walk to public transport hubs (or you can borrow a bike), and is at arm’s length from many important educational institutes, culture, shops, and entertainment. Other locations in cities such as London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, and Copenhagen are promised in the not-so-distant future. Ok, ok, I’ll stop talking. I know you’re keen to book.
All photos courtesy of livezoku.com.