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Hovering Hotels

Inspiration comes in many forms — images, words, music, and more. As part of staying  #FluentInDesign, the team at Hunter Douglas looks for things that spark our imaginations. Here are some fun and intriguing items that piqued our interest this week… we hope they “pique” you, too! Please tweet us (@FluentInDesign) or email us with any feedback or ideas. Our address is

Hovering hotels. Adventurists, your time has come. Imagine soaring over the Sahara Desert or floating above the Great Barrier Reef from the comfort of your hotel room.  “Driftscape,” a new concept designed by HOK’s Toronto office, will let guests do just that with a hotel comprising two parts: the “Oasis,” which serves as a base, and the “Driftcraft,” self-sustaining, detachable pods designed with the ability to venture out on multi-day excursions using drone technology. HOK predicts this form of commercial travel will arrive in about five years. Check out the designs at

Shipping container life. Students in Copenhagen, Denmark, have access to affordable, sustainable housing via an “urban rigger” – a structure of upcycled shipping containers transformed into floating housing. BIG — a Copenhagen- and New York-based group of architects, designers, builders, and thinkers — designed the structure by stacking nine container units in a circle that yields 15 studio residences spaced around a green courtyard. Read the full story at

Modern meets traditional: 12,800 square meters, a restaurant, an auditorium, and office spaces, all built above an unused fire station. “Surrounded by water, the new extension’s facade is a glazed surface that ripples like waves and reflects the changing tones and colours of the city’s sky.” Zaha Hadid Architects designed  the ship-like structure to create a building called “Port House” in Antwerp, Belgium, that allows about 500 employees to come together and work in a single location. Check out the photo gallery at

Living plant construction. For more than a decade, Ferdinand Ludwig has been designing structures that incorporate plants. His approach is known as “Baubotanik,” a term that combines two German words:“ bau,” meaning construction, and “botanik,” the study of plants. One of his most intriguing constructs is “The Footbridge,” which consists of willows and metal bars connected to create a cube-like structure that allows visitors to walk through the trees on an elevated platform. World-architects spoke with Ludwig about his inspiration, his methods and his thoughts on the future of Baubotnik.


Image credits: Courtesy of HOK Network via

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