Leading lights of film and design join forces with striking new hotel concept
The brainchild of a Warsaw entrepreneur and a leading actor, a new hotel concept is set to transform Poland’s hospitality sector whilst jointly celebrating the planet’s ongoing fascination with off-grid escapes and micro-living.
Operating under the name of UKOI, a string of tiny cabins are set to be rolled out – literally – in picturesque locations across Poland.
Built on wheels so that they can be hooked up behind a car in much the same manner as a caravan, the mobile cottages will measure just 16 sq/m.
Despite their diminutive dimensions, the units will come equipped with their own water tank, solar panels, a kitchenette, bed and bathroom.
Designed by the Warsaw-based Moszczyńska Puchalska Studio Architektury, neither will the modules be short on luxurious trimmings.
Placing an onus on domestic, design-forward brands, each will tout locally-produced cosmetics, linens and additional extras. Creature comforts aside, it is the views offered from the bed-side windows that will doubtlessly act as one of the main attractions.
Weighing up to 3.5 tonnes and reaching a height of four-meters when placed on a trailer, the units will be entirely self-sufficient and built with the environment in mind.
The project’s co-founder, actor Nikodem Rozbicki, said: “We are guided by the 3 x ZERO principle – zero concrete, zero bulldozers, zero logging.”
Starring in the controversial Netflix black comedy Wszyscy moi przyjaciele nie żyją (All My Friends Are Dead), as well as films such as the Polish-British production Squadron 303 and the cult TV series Singielka, the 29-year-old Rozbicki will be fronting the project alongside Bartłomiej Kraciuk.
First coming to the public’s attention after revolutionizing Warsaw’s nightlife with concepts such as Warszawa Powiśle and Weles, Kraciuk hit design bible headlines after creating the Bookworm Cabin in 2019.
Found 45-minutes from the capital, this pocket-sized stay quickly proved to be one of the hottest bookings in Poland after attracting a slew of rave reviews from a range of lifestyle titles both home and abroad.
Custom-built with avid readers in mind, the rural 25 sq/m retreat has continued to enjoy a roaring trade that’s been buoyed by ‘slow travel’ trends.
Now, Kraciuk hopes to build on that success by tapping into the growing eco-minded travel market: “We wanted to create a non-invasive design that blends into the surroundings and does not affect the existing eco-system,” he said. “We see the future of tourism as resting in such a balance.”
Constructed from natural materials – all of which will be recyclable – the project has already surmounted a list of challenges added Kraciuk.
“The house structure is wooden and filled with natural insulation,” he said. “Interestingly, the design process turned out to be more complicated than that for a traditional house due to the requirements posed by the mobility of this house.
“It’s mounted on a two-axle steel trailer, therefore it needed to maintain appropriate stiffness and balance as well as fit within specified parameters that would allow for its transport. Most difficult of all was meeting the weight criterion as that required the selection of appropriate materials.
“However, we treated these limitations as challenges and an opportunity to develop non-standard solutions for the benefit of users and the environment.”
So named after the Polish word meaning ‘to soothe’, the UKOI cottages will be transported to a range of locations around the country. According to Kraciuk and Rozbicki, these will be remote enough to offer a sense of solitude whilst also being easily reached from nearby cities.
Projected to cost guests approximately PLN 350 per night, should all go to schedule the first cabins will be launched into action in the spring of 2022.