Lifestyle hospitality brand citizenM has opened its second location in New York, and has used an innovative construction method to help cut down on building costs. We take a look inside this modular design and see how it helps keep the hotel affordable.
citizenM in New York
citizenM is a Dutch hotel brand that has formed part of the new genre of affordable luxury hotels aimed at the millennial market. They recently opened their second location in the Bowery in New York City, after their inaugural Big Apple location on Times Square. The second location has 300 rooms providing accommodation for people wishing to stay in the Lower East Side, and increases the brand’s presence in the US, a coveted market outside Europe.
Modular units made off-site
The new citizenM hotel differs to its New York predecessor in terms of its construction. The hotel’s rooms were fabricated off site, with two rooms and a entrance hallway making up one prefabricated unit. 210 units in total were shipped in containers from the manufacturing plant in Poland by sea. This is a method that creative director Rob Wagemans is familiar with, and his design firm Concrete has used this type of design and construction in other projects, also for citizenM in locations outside the US. The Times Square hotel did not employ the use of modular elements because there were regulatory issues with using a European sprinkler system in a US location, but this has since been resolved and has allowed the units to be made abroad. The units were shipped to the US with the bed, TV, desk, vanity unit, table lamps and minibar all present in the rooms, so when they arrived, they just had to be slotted into the frame, and extra furnishings and finishing added once it was in place.
Big returns on cheaper construction
One of the benefits of this type of construction is that it allows for a greater key count, meaning that the hoteliers get more return on investment. According to reports, the key count when constructing using modular elements increases 35% on traditional building methods, which is good news for the hotel brand and good news for the guest. Each room is 165sqft, and this strategy is clearly one that is working for the brand, as now eight out of 13 hotels in their portfolio have used modular construction in their realisation.
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway in New York: