For the Hôtel Métropole exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Parisian design collective ciguë recently showcased “Une chambre pour demain” (A Room for Tomorrow), an experimental redesign of a hotel room that champions water recycling. Created as a reaction against the amount of unseen excess and waste in the hospitality business, the pavilion takes the shape of a minimalist hotel room that uses a series of rainwater harvesting systems estimated to offer 70% water savings as compared to a standard hotel room.

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close-up of two metal water tanks

The design for A Room for Tomorrow began with the architects’ comparison of hotel rooms to time capsules, in that their designs are typically reflective of the way of living in a particular era. “With our current times accelerating faster than ever, it however seems as if the evolution has wound down, the model has become almost stagnant and is being duplicated indefinitely with a quest focused more and more on comfort, perhaps as a way of forgetting that there is an urgency to react,” ciguë explained in a project statement. “Meanwhile, thousands of bathtubs are being filled, emptied and refilled as we speak.”

Related: LEED Gold eco hotel in the Wine Country was built using reclaimed wood

person in hotel bathroom with clawfoot bathtub

To bring attention to the urgency to act on environmental concerns and present possible solutions to the excesses in the hospitality business, the architects worked together with environmental engineering experts Le Sommer Environment to create a home room prototype with a focus on recycling. The room is deliberately stripped down to its solid oak skeleton, which was built to be easily dismountable so that the parts can be recycled. The focus of the pavilion is the bathroom, where water-saving technologies are demonstrated.

water-saving bathroom with wood-beamed ceiling and a claw0foot tub

The minimalist pavilion features an open ceiling, through which two water tanks can be seen. One tank is for rainwater collection and the other is for storing water rendered potable through phytopurification plants and activated carbon filters. Graywater from the bathtub and sink are filtered, collected and reused in a closed-loop circuit. In the corner, a transparent composting toilet bowl shows how human excrement is separated into liquids and solids, with the latter to be transformed into compost. A Room For Tomorrow was on display in Paris from October 16, 2019 to January 12, 2020. 

+ ciguë

Images via Salem Mostefaoui and ciguë