A group of architecture students has developed a conceptual "levitation suit" that allows guests to experience 3D sleeping as if they were floating in zero gravity (+ slideshow).
The project, called KSEVT Hotel, involves suspending guests beneath a web of ropes and pulleys that allows them to adopt any position while sleeping. This replicates the feeling of sleeping in space – although in practice real astronauts tend to strap themselves in when sleeping to avoid getting numb limbs or bashing into things.
Asked to come up with ideas to promote sustainable tourism at KSEVT, the team started by asking themselves the question: how can KSEVT accommodate sleepovers?
"The site-specific added value to the KSEVT exhibition is the experience of levitation in an environment of gravity," the team wrote. "The team's field of research was the transition from conventional 2D sleeping to the experience of 3D sleeping."
The concept, developed during the three-week workshop last July, is intended to promote "nanotourism" at the new centre, which lies close to the small town of Vitanje.
The centre, designed by Slovenian architects OFIS Arhitekti, Sadar Vuga Arhitekti, Bevk Perovic Arhitekti and Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti and opened in 2013, is on the edge of the town, which has a population of just 800.
The team wanted to develop a visitor attraction that avoided the pitfalls of conventional tourism and that instead follows the principles of nanotourism, which promotes "a participatory, locally oriented, bottom-up alternative".
The concept helps provide accommodation at the centre, as well as fulfilling its remit of offering a cultural programme around the notion of space exploration.
KSEVT Hotel offers two different experiences aimed at individuals and groups. "The individual version enables the researcher to spend the night in KSEVT by sleeping in a uniquely engineered levitation suit, suspended in the central space of KSEVT," the team said.
"With the collective experience, a group of people is able to experience 3D sleeping as an extended feature of the exhibition, where a set of pyramid shaped cushions support your entire body in a custom 3D position while asleep."
The AA Visiting School Slovenia is an experimental teaching and research programme attached to the AA Visiting School (AAVS) at the Architectural Association, London.
The project was mentored by AAVS Slovenia director Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič of Dekleva Gregoric Architects and co-mentored by Jakob Travnik and Blaž Šef, with visiting experts including Jan Boelen, KSEVT director Miha Turšič and Nikola Radeljković of Zagreb design team Numen/For Use. The hotel project team included Samo Bojnec, Natalie Jasinski, Kaja Švab and Vid Žnidaršič.
The deadline for applications for this year's Nanotourist Strategies workshop at KSEVT is 20 June. Full details are on the AAVS website.
Photography is by Ajda Schmidt.