From the outset of design, it was our intention to exploit the modularity inherent within the shipping container system, yet with the ability to break, shuffle, combine and reconfigure that system. Mo-Ho – the Modular Hotel – is a pod hotel designed for an series of unique user spaces and experiences, at the forefront of which is the interplay between private and public spaces. A new typology of hotel in the area, Mo-Ho is designed to attract young locals and tourists who want to experience the up-and-coming Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. The hotel offers a spectrum of shared spaces–both indoor and outdoor–that play host to engagements, receptions, parties, or simply chance encounters.

Modularity is the agent through which both engaging architecture and efficient construction occur. The shipping container–an international symbol of efficient, universal storage–alludes to the increasingly tight living conditions in New York City’s boroughs, offering an alternative model of programmable space. Simultaneously, the site’s location along the Gowanus Canal provides the incentive to utilize water transportation (e.g. barges) to transport these programmable units to the site, allowing the major benefit of off-site fabrication and pre-assembly.

In addressing the energy required for Mo-Ho, the primary design goal is to expand the transformative capability of the shipping container and its space, while concurrently working within a system that allows great efficiency, expediency, and a model of building intended to help re-structure the building industry.