This Capsule Hotel Both Minimises And Maximises Space With This Typically Japanese Concept

When DA Architects, a group of young designers in St. Petersburg, Russia, were asked to design the first capsule hotel in the city – they couldn’t wait to get started and put their own twist on this Japanese concept.

The InBox Capsule Hotel sits in the middle of the city of St. Petersburg on Mohovaya Street and spans 120m2. An ordinary hotel would struggle to fit many guests in but the InBox manages to fit 24 on by doing exactly what it’s name suggests: inviting guests to stay in small wooden bunks.


The hotel took 8 months to build and mixes practical sleeping solutions, a functional space and slightly more homely touches to keep the interior from feeling too sterile or industrial.

Wooden bunks, comprising of a roll-down blind, a single bed and a plug socket, provide everything that the guest might need, with lockers, shared kitchens and bathrooms a few metres away.

Exposed, white-painted, brickwork give the space a cosmopolitan loft-like feel while contrasting the thick black walls and furniture and keeping the space, light and open.


The hotel attracts travelers who are fascinated by the design of the hotel, or looking for somewhere central to return to after a day of exploring. It’s also popular with people on business trips, who are away for a day or two and just an inexpensive and convenient place to stay.


We spoke to the quirky design studio about capsules, colours and challenges when designing a box hotel.

The Plus: How have the hotels surroundings, and structure, influenced its design?
Anna Lvovskaya:
Not a lot, but we were trying to use more natural and warm materials and leave all the historical brick to get some “cozy-loftish” look.


TP: Why do you that capsule hotels have worked so well in Japan and what will make it successful in Russia?
As we know, capsule hotels in Japan is more utilitary thing. People can get a rest there if they are coming late from work or something like that. In Russia, we have no experience in that segment, it’s new for us, so we can only guess.


TP: What are the main materials used and why?
It’s wood, metal and brick walls. Walls were cleaned up and painted, because brick gives really good and solid texture with good historical vibes. To reach nice warm and minimalistic look we used wooden panels with metal constructions and got straight and clean lines.


TP: What was the most challenging aspect of the design?
It was the whole technology, because we didn’t had much information about that type of hotels. Many things were invented from scratch. There was a lot of trouble to mix technology with the old buiding, because of the weight of capsule units.


TP: Talk us through the colour scheme?
As we said, we used natural and warm materials with painted brick ( white and dark grey-blue ) to get some balance between warm and cool colors with fresh and bright accents ( yellow and soft blue lines ) that looks actually like mini city with different areas, but everything is quite solid.


TP: Sum up the hotel in two sentences
Cozy and unusual space, bringing a new experience to our hotel market