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Pockets Hotel

07 Aug 2018
Image Credit: Sketches by Xiao Wen Xu
Architectural Credit: Xiao Wen Xu
Sketches and text by Xiao Wen Xu
Intern Architect at architectsAlliance, Toronto, ON 

This post is part of our summer 2018 blOAAg series, Summer Sketches: Capturing the Essence of Architectural Ideas.
These sketches were made in 2010 during my undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo. I chose these views to narrate the experience of the hotel from approaching the hotel, beneath the hotel, in the courtyard, within the hotel, and on the rooftop.  For the courtyard, I chose to illustrate it in both the summer and winter times to show the versatility of the water feature. In the sketches, I chose various figures to depict how the spaces might be used and different seasons to emphasize the temporal qualities of the building.

Pockets Hotel is a fictional project situated in downtown Galt (Cambridge, Ontario), on the corner of Main Street and Ainslie Street. This conceptual design emphasizes large public spaces, micro private areas and pocket gardens to incorporate nature into everyday experience.

Main Street and Ainslie Street, Approach - Day

Main Street and Ainslie Street, Approach - Night

The common perception of urban and landscape conditions involves vegetation on the ground and people and activities above. Here, this concept is inverted with glowing pockets of people and activities on the ground level and pockets of green gardens above. Pockets of public activities are located on the ground level, including a small lobby, noodle bar and a shoe shop. This idea also defies conventional hotels that have a prestigious ground presence by lifting the hotel off the ground and extending the public realm. The open, permeable ground plane opens the view from the intersection into the courtyard, making activities—such as the summer wading pool and winter skating rink—more visually and physically accessible. At night, the glass pavilions on the ground floor become animated by visitors’ movements.

View of Courtyard from Inside Hotel at Ground Level


Courtyard Views, Summer (left) and Winter (right)

Above this permeable ground plane is a hotel with double-loaded corridors, which makes for efficient use of space while the vertical gardens punctuate the various levels with green spaces and daylight. These vertical gardens are filled with perennials that change with the seasons and are planted based on the different orientations of the gardens.

Hotel Hallway (left), Hotel Room (middle), Rooftop Drink and Sand Bar (right).

The building materials were chosen so that they will develop a natural patina that embraces and emphasizes the passing of time; the cedar slats that cover the building will fade to a soft grey and the weathering steel exit stairs will become a brilliant brown-red. The cedar slats provide shade and create dappled patterns on the walls of the hotel rooms, while providing privacy from the busy street. Pockets Hotel is an exploration of the transient qualities of space and material, and encourages us to contemplate new ways to design public and private spaces.

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April 11, 2019 12:05 by Anonymous

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August 17, 2018 16:27 by Anonymous
very nice

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August 14, 2018 14:22 by Anonymous

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August 07, 2018 22:04 by Anonymous
Awesome sketches!

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