Uncommon — Architecture Competition by UNI.xyz

New Architecture Competition Announced — ‘Uncommon’ to design Challenge to design a boutique hostel — UNI.xyz

Fig: 1 — Offices are open for working till late hours


Humankind is dependent on cities for various social, economic, and physical needs. Income and employment are the leading causes of urbanization, as more people settle in cities. They get more work-oriented over time, rendering cities as mere job centrals. The new condition of the urban population follows the way of the grind.

The new work-intensive lifestyle has a detrimental effect on the well-being of humans. To relieve themselves of the pressures of the job, people look for opportunities to escape and travel to scenic destinations to relax and rejuvenate themselves.

The commercialization of cities has overpowered the social and psychological needs of humans. The turn of the 21st century has seen a rise in the trend of remote working. Technological infrastructure enables people to work from remote locations and hit their targets at their leisure and pace. As the travel-work trend is gaining traction recently.

In what ways has the new work-life dynamic altered or influenced our lifestyle choices?

Fig: 2 — Exploring the new city’s streets and culture can be a refreshing change for work-based travelers.


Travel provides a necessary break from the exhausting life people lead in cities. Vacations, in the past, were taken to countryside retreats just outside the city, for short durations. But with the new online mode of working, people have flexibility with their work location and can undertake trips for a longer time. This gives them a chance to explore the new city, live there, and be a part of the local daily life. In any travel, accommodation is the foremost priority. The travel-work populace has specific requirements when it comes to their stay arrangements. Since work will be a major part of their daily activities, a productive workspace setting is required. Stay quarters will promote comfort, leisure as well as effectiveness.

Hotels provide premium accommodation on a day-to-day basis, which could be unaffordable or unfit for people planning long-term living and working. New options of rental homes and hostels are becoming popular for serving people with such a specific mindset. Affordability is a key, with no compromise on space quality to inspire efficiency.

Fig: 3 — Work from home can be delivered in interesting settings to escape the mundanity of homes.


Hostels are capable of providing long-term accommodation at lesser rates. But this cost-cutting may come at the cost of luxury or amenities. Boutique hostels are designed as an option for people who are looking for hotel-level comfort at a modest rate for long stay periods.

Brief: Design a boutique hostel that will consist of living spaces as well as working facilities that make it conducive to long-term living.

The spatial configuration of the hostel will be both living and labor orientate. The hostel will be occupied for longer durations of time and the design of spaces must be flexible to accommodate this. Comfort and convenience must be achieved at a reasonable cost. The design aims to explore ways in which hostels can cater to this new generation of travelers with quality spaces. Privacy and interaction must be guided in the layout as per the nature of the activity. The balance between aesthetics and functionality, as well as open and closed spaces.


  • Ideation: The design can be inspired by the local cultural context to give the hostel users a unique stay experience.
  • Adaptable: The spaces must be flexible to cater to varying groups of people and multi-functional spaces can be employed for this.
  • Economical: The design must be affordable and low maintenance, delivering maximum output with optimum utilization of available resources.
  • Context: The design must respond to the (existing) site conditions. The wider socio-cultural, economic and environmental settings are to be considered in the design approach.


Fig: 4 — Site image

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico is an abundant destination with diverse terrains from mountains to coasts. It is host to a plethora of biodiversity endemic to this region. It also has a rich cultural history and population rendering a colorful image of the nation to the world. This major tourist destination has been visited by 39 million international tourists in the year 2018.

The site is located in Mexico City, Mexico. The city is overrun with heritage landmarks and scenic locations. Streets are laden with art, architecture, and cuisines that are not just indigenous to the region but also a result of internationalism. It has a progressive economy that is supportive of the modern infrastructural needs to keep up with upcoming trends.

The site is in the neighborhood of Juárez which is a dynamic area of tourist activity. It consists of cultural landmarks, eclectic eateries, and vibrant nightlife attracting young people. The site is adjacent to a major crossroad offering access to all sites and amenities around the city.

  • Site area = 5250 sq.m
  • Height restriction = 15 metres
  • Ground coverage = 30%
  • Max FAR: 1 , Setbacks (as per CAD plan)
  • Coordinates = 19°25'55.5"N 99°09'13.8"W


The hostel will have living spaces for 60 guests. The following programmatic outline is the point to begin your design at. You can add more functions and activities in relevance or modify the below design program.

  • Spaces to work: Office spaces, Event halls, Meeting rooms, Information center
  • Spaces for leisure: Spa and Sauna, Cafeteria
  • Spaces to recreate: Courtyard, Gardens, Playroom, Outdoor courts
  • Administration and Services

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: Uncommon | Residential Building Competition on UNI | About

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Originally published at https://uni.xyz.




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