VALO Hotel & Work features hotel rooms that can also be offices

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Work lounge at VALO Hotel & Work

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Work lounge at VALO Hotel & Work

A hotel has opened on the outskirts of Helsinki featuring rooms that can be workspaces by day and bedrooms by night.

VALO Hotel & Work aims to offer a solution for people working remotely – a number that has increased significantly since the coronavirus pandemic – as well as more traditional hotel guests.

The hotel’s head of design, Minna Hurme, developed the concept in collaboration with office design specialist Workplace Oy, interior design studio Fyra and construction company SSA.

Work lounge at VALO Hotel & Work
VALO Hotel & Work is a 422-room hotel near Helsinki

At the heart of the concept are guest rooms that can be easily converted from a typical hotel bedroom into a dedicated workspace for several people.

This means that rooms are more likely to be in use for 24 hours a day.

Guest room at VALO Hotel & Work
Rooms are designed to function as offices or bedrooms

“Our sustainable innovation is based on the dual-use concept,” said the VALO team.

“Rather than having a hotel vacant during the day and an office empty at night and weekends, VALO combines the two utilities into one space.”

Guest room at VALO Hotel & Work
Beds and desks fold down from the wall, controlled by an app

VALO Hotel & Work is on the shortlist for Dezeen Awards 2021 in two categories: hotel and short-stay interior and sustainable interior.

The 18,000-square metre building contains 422 dual-purpose rooms, ranging from 12 to 29 square metres in size.

Guest room at VALO Hotel & Work
Sofas can be tucked away out of sight to make room for the bed

In order for the concept to work, these rooms needed to be easy to adapt during the cleaning process. This led the designers to create a series of flexible fixtures.

Beds and desks fold down from the wall, thanks to a mechanised system connected to a digital platform and operated by an app. Meanwhile, sofas can be neatly hidden away.

Work lounge at VALO Hotel & Work
The lobby doubles as a bright and spacious work lounge

Other furnishings in the rooms blend comfort with functionality, so they feel appropriate for both uses. Lighting and temperature settings can also flip between different modes.

“The result is a space that is visually neither a hotel nor an office, but something entirely new,” said VALO.

Restaurant at VALO Hotel & Work
The restaurant combines wood and leather with natural, warm tones

Other facilities were designed with both work and leisure in mind.

There’s a restaurant, a lounge bar, wellness facilities, various meeting and conference rooms, and a lobby that doubles as a “work lounge”.

This work lounge is an atrium space at the heart of the building, where a large wall of glazing allows natural light to spill in.

A giant staircase climbs up one side of the space, creating a large informal seating area dotted with laptop surfaces, while large cylinders integrate both workstations and trees.

Meeting room at VALO Hotel & Work
There are various conference suites and meeting rooms available

Wood is a recurring material throughout the interior and was sourced from Nordic forests. It provides furniture and surfaces, as well as a pair of Finnish log saunas on the roof.

This material is paired with recycled plastic, understated fabrics and a palette of soft-hued colours.

Wellness facilities at VALO Hotel & Work
Wellness facilities include sauna, pools and a steam room

VALO’s founders believe the project can serve as a model for how hotels can reduce their environmental impact.

For business travellers, in particular, it can potentially consolidate all activities into a single location.

Finnish log sauna at VALO Hotel & Work
There are two hand-crafted log saunas on the roof

“Hotel buildings have a utilisation rate of approximately 40 per cent, while offices have a staggeringly low one of eight per cent, when considering their entire life cycles,” added VALO.

“VALO offers a viable solution to this global problem. By combining all relevant business services into one, we significantly reduce emissions and waste while also creating better services for travellers.”

Photography is by Riikka Kantinkoski.

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