Award-winning Dutch lifestyle and hotel company citizenM has 21-plus international locations, with three properties currently on the United States’ East Coast and several others in the pipeline. Their first foray on the West Coast, in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, represented a new challenge — modular construction in a highly seismic area.
One of citizenM’s goals is to provide their guests, often business travelers, a consistent and comfortable room across any international hotel location. Perfectly suited for modular construction, the prefabricated room modules are finished offsite, complete with furniture, tiling, and tech, before being shipped and connected on site. This highly sustainable method not only provides a cohesive and consistent look and feel, but also reduces construction costs and waste, and shortens the construction timeline and associated disruption to the area.
Working with Gensler, general contractor Mortenson Construction, and citizenM’s module supplier partners, our interdisciplinary design team successfully delivered a sophisticated, seismically capable hotel tailored to the US’s strict code requirements, all while working within the many constraints associated with modular buildings.
How module design stacks up
This unique hotel has six levels of guest room modules and two traditionally built levels (basement and grade). Site built construction included the entry level providing long-span volumes for the lobby, living rooms, meeting spaces, and café and below-grade MEP spaces and gym. The 264 fully finished and furnished hotel rooms, approximately 8ft wide, were delivered to site ready to stack and connect above the lobby transfer level.