‘Heart of the District’ Competition Entry / ZA Architects

Courtesy of

In their second prize winning design in the international competition, ZA Architects aimed at developing a few new principles of hotel organization. Instead of separating visitors from the environment, the architects intends to embed peoples’ lives in local city life. For this reason, there is no hotel building itself, instead they propose hotel rooms placed in existing buildings (offices, residential) connected with web of hung pathways. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of ZA Architects

To inhale life in this place we are creating a new type of space – half street/half building, it is a vibrant suspended volume enclosing a number of public activities which will attract and serve not only locals and hotel visitors, but also other curious tourists and city inhabitants. It will inspire vivid public life around the hotel. It is a heart of the district.

Courtesy of ZA Architects


Hotel doesn’t have its private services. All facilities (laundries, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, etc.) are used by hotel visitors and locals mutually. There are a range of entities already on the street – as theatre, gym, trattoria,etc., which will be used along with new, located inside heart, as part of the hotel services. Hotel visitors are provided with “all inclusive” card, which allow to use all aforesaid functions for free.

Courtesy of ZA Architects

Mixing and Acquaintance

All communications and people streams conduct through the heart. In which visitors can get via moving ramps and elevators right from the street. Heart itself contains: playground, shop, exhibition space, café, bar, hotel reception, lounge zone, small cinema, library, conference hall. From the inside this volume gives a lot of interesting viewpoints that allows to peek on someones window, or observe the scenery of the street traffic, cityscape and so on. Main function of the heart is to draw folks in and mix, acquaint them inside its tight spaces, while they busy with varied activities.

Courtesy of ZA Architects


From the heart levels visitors are able to get to the pathways hung to the existing building facades, which lead to hotel rooms scattered on the old buildings. Neighboring office workers and tenants can inlay doors to these balcony-ways and use them and all given public facilities as well. From the rooms mounted, for instance in the office block, it is possible to take a glance on the everyday life of it workers through the small circular windows in the partition. It is also possible to make a door and way out of the room through existing building.

Courtesy of ZA Architects

Thus, visitors are brought very close to the natives, yet without losing the comfort. Besides, new public hub going to improve quality of life in this local city area, attracting more habitats, tourists and eventually – money. It is not unlikely that it is can become one of the NY iconic objects.

Architects: ZA Architects
Location: 23 street,100-130, , United States
Team: Arina Agieieva, Dmitry Zhuikov
Client: Tablet hotels
Status: 2nd place in international contest
Function: Hotel
Year: 2012

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "‘Heart of the District’ Competition Entry / ZA Architects" 20 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=281045>
  • tanvi sharma

    concept is new…….ppl want to b relaxed i n hotel for main purpose bt i dnt thnk so dat it wud be more cmfrtable….. ppl want to stay in touch wid nature …..

  • Matt R

    seriously one of the dumbest designs i’ve ever seen. spare me.

  • sunny

    happy people rendered into happy rendered architecture … yaayyy
    that’s pretty much our sad state-of-the-art

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  • Walt

    There may some credence to the business concept of “…no hotel building itself, instead they propose hotel rooms placed in existing buildings (offices, residential)”. Nix the aspect of “… connected with web of hung pathways”. It could prove, however, to be an administrative nightmare logistically.

  • Student

    My first impression was that a giant alien with nauseous eyes is trying to lift the cars on the street and swallow them. Ew!

  • Han

    Its a giant Greedo head! Makes me want to shoot it .. first, obviously.

  • Vo Dinh Tan

    Perfect architectural building, its moving flexibility on the street may be more fun. LOLz