Gianluca Santosuosso: Morphotel

The Morphotel is a concept that joins the idea of a floating hotel and a slow round-the-globe cruise ship created by Italian architect Gianluca Santosuosso. Built around a flexible spine, the Morphotel can adapt its shape to handle differing weather conditions, or to more neatly fit into the space available at a whichever port of call it is visiting. Instead of embarking of a set journey from point A to point B, the Morphotel will be on a continuous trip, and guests will have to catch up with it during a stop to get on. They can then stay for a journey that suits their needs, disembarking at a later stop in a different city. “I learned that sometimes a journey can take you to a place that is not on any map”- Cold Fever (Movie) We all dream of that fictitious and special place that would be our undoing. Often times we find it, only to realize that the journey to discover it was indeed sweeter than the fruit itself. Adventurers, travelers, explorers, all are but the same, only their ways are different. It is our own choice, own paths that we take to our culmination. Gianluca Santosuosso presents to us his conception of one such means of journeying through life which indeed in itself qualifies as a fantastical place that is not on any map. For, his is a ‘Floating Hotel System’ designed for experiencing an endless journey to explore the depths of the world and its uncharted territories. The ‘MORPHotel,’ makes the idea plausible with its self-sufficiency and the ability to float with the ocean-currents. Conceptualized in the form of a Spinal Cord, it has several capsules accommodating residential and recreational facilities, interconnected linearly. It is a whole Ecosystem on water, moving all the while at a pace slower than the average velocity of a boat. The vertebral Spine is approximately one kilometer in length with high amount of flexibility providing to the structure an adaptive quality. The MORPHotel thus flaunts an ability to change its shape according to the weather conditions and the surrounding site morphology. An Organism in its own rights, the MORPHotel Cruise would be programmed to stop at various cities for planned periods of time. At the time it would be a part of the city, its temporary extension. The insides if the hotel comprise a covered linear park thorough the central axis, serving as connection between other defined spaces, which includes reception, administration, catering area in the central vertebra and accommodations and other services at the two ends, in the form of capsules as mentioned above. Just like any hotel, MORPHotel will have various kinds of luxuries to afford like glazed rooms at water level and detachable boat-rooms that have the luxury of being independently floating objects at a specified range from the main body. This idea of an artificial organism looks for sustainability in eco-friendly techniques employed like rain water harvesting, integrated solar panels and floating vegetable gardens. Conceived during the MAA Self Sufficient Buildings Development Studio by Gianluca Santosuosso, who is an ex-IAAC student, the project was worked under the guidance of Willy Müller. MORPHotel reminds of a Taoist saying heard long back, and it echoes on and on, that, “The journey is the reward,” not in the same context perhaps, but it is definitely one. More so than discovering the unknown, the journey would be the one worth having.

AUTHOR: Antara Jha