Design + Architecture

Future Hotels

by Ralph Martin

Aircruise Dirigible

Cruising over the Serengeti, the captain drops down to a few hundred feet above the wildlife, so quietly that the zebras don't even notice—someday, everyone will go on safari this way. This is the modern cruise ship in the sky: Aircruise, a go-anywhere, 870-foot-high floating hotel concept, designed by London's Seymourpowell architects but currently being developed and hyped by Korean electronics giant Samsung. Huge impregnable hydrogen cells keep it aloft (no Hindenburg blowouts here), and solar cells provide the thrust. Inside, low passenger density is the rule, which means lots of space for few people. Four duplex apartments, a penthouse, and five smaller apartments are the sum total of the hotel's rooms—plus a bar and lounge, of course. Seymourpowell uses the tagline "Slow is the new fast" to describe the project; indeed, at 37 hours from New York City to London, leisure is pretty much guaranteed.

Next: L.A.'s sign of the times >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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