With global urbanization and the evolution of infrastructure and transportation means, mobility is becoming more and more accessible, making tourism a low-cost commodity. Equally, accessibility and transparency of data shared online demand a real coherence between quality, price and services, while allowing multiple interactions.

Travelling today has become a less enhanced experience, easy to consume. In a society that is constantly changing, guidebooks are becoming rapidly futile, as the cityscape often reinvents itself. Furthermore, cities tend to have one or several “touristic areas” created, separated from the “local” ones.

Travelling today is a way to relax but also a way of working. When travelling during work, we don’t always have the time to see the city, which only exists through the windows of the hotel room.


New York – the city that never sleeps, constantly reinventing itself – requires an innovative model to host both its travellers and residents where the mix between business and leisure can offer a new way to experience the city.

The Downtown incubator is more than a hotel. It is a machine to breed and intensify the metropolitan ways of living. The hotel is built around five intensities between work and leisure.

Extracts of the grid, each floor is a platform representing a singular social activity, mixing New Yorkers with tourists and business travelers.

The downtown incubator uses a simple and recurrent form of a tower (Temple Court situated at 5 Beekman Street, New York) – central core, atrium, as the background for a new paradigm of floor-by-floor conquest of a Skyscraper by social activities.

5 Intensities

The Downtown Incubator is sequence of five superimposed atmospheres inspired by contradictory yet compelling programs.

Each floor takes the form and design of the specific flux of programs, each of the grounds, with its own hermetic iconography, represents another passion – for work or for leisure; the stack together represents the city of New York as a whole .


The hyper ground

The Downtown incubator is, above all, a great public ground, nurturing all kinds of customs and activities of its occupants. It is an intensified fragment of the metropole, a true synthesis by stratum.

The networking ground

The TABLE transforms this vast platform into multiple small spaces. It runs along the floor dividing space as it relinks everyone using it. You can work in a silent corner, attend lectures, meet people using the application; and you can rest, sleep for a night in the middle of the day – by using a sleeping pod

The cardio ground

“PLAY FOR WORK” The cardio ground is invaded by activities related to the body. The running track, covering most of the floor, connects the activities and rooms, as a reminder of the continuous beat.

The big blue ground

“RELAX AND PLAY” This intensity is generated by a pool – distorted – creating singular, private and more public spaces. All the rooms face an iconic part of the pool, giving its users a special intimacy as well as a possible connection with all swimmers. Water is transformed from its fluid to vaporous conditions – a pool to spa, fountain to hammam etc. It becomes a promenade of tranquility and relaxation.

The contemplative ground

“RELAX” The rooftop is an urban nature resort, where anyone can enjoy a picnic in the shade of the trees, a night in a cabin, a party around the fire. This last intensity is a complete relaxing floor, back to nature in the heart of the city.

Rethink Hotel Competition
* Top 20 / 200
Location: New York, USA
Program: hotel & working areas
Team: Clelie Protière & OUI (Noa Peer, Flore Raimbault)
Client: Jovoto & Tablet hotels &