By Rachel Long
This year's winner of the Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award, co-sponsored by the John Hardy Group and Hospitality Design (HD) magazine, is radically different. It is not just a pie-in-the-sky, what-if hotel concept sketched out as a contest entry; the winning concept is open and operating.
Pixel Hotel in Linz, Austria, earned the competition's $10,000 grand prize for deconstructing a traditional hotel model, creating guestrooms in six locations across the city's urban core. The prize was awarded September 15, 2009, at Hospitality Design Boutique Exposition & Conference (HD Boutique) in Miami Beach as the top two juried projects faced a popular vote to determine the winner.
John Hardy, president/CEO of the John Hardy Group, who co-founded the competition in 2007 with Michelle Finn, vice president of Hospitality Design Group, lauded the winner as an extreme idea with legs. Says Hardy, "It's really creative and it has low capital costs. What's more radical than no hotel?"
Of 18 qualified entries, five were honored for excellence in innovation: Pixel Hotel by a group of Austrian architects; Zephyr Resort: The Twenty-first Century Limited by Cagley and Tanner, Las Vegas, which was first runner-up; Bucket List by WATG’s Seattle office; and Cliff Hanger by HKS Hill Glazier Studio, Dallas. Benedicte Garby’s Industry Hotel, an idea for an abandoned factory-cum-hotel, won the judges’ special award for best student project.
For the complete story featuring an in-depth look at the winner, runner up, and finalists, see the October issue of HD. And check out more highlights from the show, including Bob Puccini discussing global restaurant trends.