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Sleeping capsules in the center of Seoul. Polish student's project awarded!

Dobrawa Bies
04 of February '21

{Student}, an architecture student at Wroclaw University of Technology, won first place in the international competition "Cocoon. Power Nap and Meditation Studio", organized by UNI competitions. The task was to design an object that is an ideal place for a nap and meditation during the day.

Lack of sleep is one of the most serious problems in our society. Despite the fact that the human body needs seven to nine hours of rest per day, sleep has become a luxury for many. Studies show that in the United States, about 40 percent of the working population, sleeps too little. In the UK, busy people sacrifice at least one night a week to catch up on their sleep. In Japan, on the other hand, there are known cases of death from overwork. There, too, places that can be rented for naps during the day - in between meetings and other duties - are gaining popularity.

Kapsuły do snu
w centrum Seulu

The competition task was to design a facility designed for relaxation

© Ida Hardt

A nap in downtown Seoul

Participants in the competition organized by the UNI competitions platform were tasked with designing a special facility for a nap in Seoul on Yeouido Island, known as a business and economic center. It was to be a space with ideal conditions for naps, as well as places for workshops and meditation. Another guideline was to create a scalable, module-designed facility. The proposal was to stand out from its surroundings, being a kind of signpost in the area.

In the words of Ida Hardt:

The competition task was related to the problem of the region described by the organizers, which is overwork and overtiredness of corporate employees. As is well known, South Korea has one of the most developed economies. However, it occupies the infamous second place on the list of countries with the fewest hours of sleep per person. The result? A significant reduction in labor productivity. This is so obvious that employers are increasingly offering their teams nap breaks in specially designed areas. My task was to create just such a facility.

Aksonometria obiektu
w Seulu

The award-winning design has a spatial structure with fifty capsules

© Ida Hardt

salutary sleep and meditation

Ida Hardt's proposed design for a meditation and sleep center in the form of a spat ial structure with fifty capsules received first place. The award-winning concept is also an engineering work, done under the direction of Dr. Jan Zamasz of the Department of Architecture and Visual Arts.

The plot of land designated by the competition organizers is relatively small, so the PWr student designed her building in a flexible way to maximize the use of space. Her concept calls for three above-ground floors and a first floor with a reception area.

Piętro budynku
z kapsułami do snu Elewacja obiektu

The floors include sleeping pods connected by galleries

© Ida Hardt

The first floor is to be a free space amidst greenery with a tube-pipe layout. If necessary, they allow rooms to be separated by installing diagonal curtain walls. Tent-shaped rooms are then created, which can be freely arranged, their function can be changed and they can be dismantled at any time," explains the author.

Rzut parteru

The first floor is an open space with abundant greenery

© Ida Hardt

The next two levels of the center are regularly spaced sleeping capsules connected by galleries. The middle strip contains stairs and elevators, sanitary facilities and rooms necessary for the operation of the facility. A total of fifty capsules make up the project, six of which are loosely spaced on the first floor, while the rest are connected by a steel skeletal structure, which is also the structure of the entire building. In the ground-floor rooms, bounded by curtain walls, the author designed two rooms for meditation classes (group and individual), a conference room (available for rent) and a room for conducting workshops on breathwork, among other things.

photovoltaic capsules

The capsules are divided into two chambers, providing separate places for two people to meditate or nap. The objects can be set directly on the ground, forming a separate element, or connect to subsequent modules using steel pipe-bars. In this way, the design is versatile and can be freely changed depending on the dimensions of the plot and the needs of the users. The structure of the capsule is a steel frame filled with polyurethane, and the facade is covered with photovoltaic panels. Thanks to the fact that the panels are used in all modules, the electricity they produce is enough to power the entire building.

Fotowoltaicznekapsuły do snu

Each capsule is divided into two chambers, and the facade is photovoltaic panels

© Ida Hardt

The diameter of one module is 2.5 meters, which, according to the designer, provides enough space for relaxation. The capsule is entered through an automatic door, and each chamber has a wide, curtained window, an adjustable bed with remote control, bluetooth speakers and storage for shoes, clothes and blankets.

Przekrój całegoobiektu

The design is adaptable to the size of the plot

© Ida Hardt

The author opted for easily accessible materials and simple furnishings. The central tract with a raw form is finished with architectural concrete. In contrast, wood is used in the interiors of the capsules. Also wooden are the floors in the meditation room, where the friendly atmosphere is created by rich vegetation and a lot of sunlight.

I wanted my design to stand out from its surroundings. It provided a place for rest and tranquility and contact with nature, and was an example of how non-obvious functions can be incorporated into the fabric of cities," Ida Hardt concludes.


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