Pangea Pod Hotel

No space is wasted in Whistler’s new high-concept hotel. Whistler / Canada / 2018

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Bricault’s innovative renovation of a drab 1970s time-share apartment block has created eighty-eight sleeping pods for Whistler’s visitors and a vibrant new public bar and eatery. Pod hotels became popular in Japan as an inexpensive place to rest and revive for the nations’ many salarymen between long workdays. Whistler offers a very different work-leisure balance, but pods solve another problem here. With year-round outdoor activities and scenic beauty, hotel rooms in the mountain resort commanded a premium price.


The Bricault team developed the pod design within a tight layout; “every centimetre counts” assures team member Daria Sheina. Pangea occupies a commanding site in Whistler’s pedestrian village; the building is located just steps from the resort’s chairlift stations.


Bricault’s clever spatial design means Pangea guests are provided the privacy needed for a night’s rest in the heart of the mountain resort, offered at a reasonable price. The designers worked with the clients over three years to create this original accommodation solution, Canada’s first pod hotel.


The design team delivered their experience in both hospitality and private residential work to the pod hotel, developing features for both function and comfort. Bricault worked on a vast range of design elements; the spatial and architectural design, lighting and furniture design, even facilitated fabrication of custom fixtures and fittings locally.


Budget was a constraint; however, originality, flair and good design were valued by the clients. Russell Kling, an entrepreneur from Cape Town and wife Jelena Kling, a biochemical engineer from Belgrade, are new to the hotel industry. Their venture is “inspired by years of traveling the globe.”


Vancouver-based Bricault Design was chosen due to their willingness to engage in a collaborative exchange with the couple to develop ideas that fit both the program and vision for this unique project.


For the clients, capitalizing on this location was key. Reworking the building’s exterior within the Village of Whistler’s strict bylaws generated significant design challenges, such as improving visual appeal at street level. Bricault transformed the inconspicuous time-share entrance into an open and inviting hotel and bar entrance. The entryway design and highly-visible bar now give the property a clear presence in the village, letting you know something exciting is upstairs to be discovered.


Creative design problem-solving is evident throughout this project, as Bricault created everything from the hotel’s wayfinding graphics to custom lighting and the sleeping pods themselves.


A novel design solution to the classic winter and summer resort feature of the gear storage room; The Toy Box is multifunctional, secure, and like the sleeping pods, does not waste any space. The Toy Box components fold and stow; the space morphs in response to seasonal requirements.


The designers researched materials that would be interesting and vibrant, but very durable and at the right price-point. Some original materials were re-purposed, such as the copper pipes from the building’s old plumbing system, deployed in custom design features throughout lounge and cafe areas.


The tile chosen to enhance the hotel’s main stairwell is durable, vibrant, and highlights the path upwards to the reception area; the penny round tile is hard-wearing, allows curved surfaces and was used as a continuous wrap of the entire public space that includes the reception, cafe and bar.


Wallpaper designed by Bricault is used to highlight the upper portion of the walls in suites and corridors, much like the complex ceiling design of The Living Room, where a variety of tinted mirror was deployed along with topography lights. Marc Bricault explains that these elements “create greater sense of space and facilitate a conversation between the ramblers on the village stroll and the activity in the second story restaurant bar.”


The Living Room is designed as important communal space with unique design elements that extend shared space for guests outside of the sleeping pods. With their international team combining their skills in architecture, industrial design, fine arts, graphic design, as well as millwork and project management, the ambitious Pangea Pod Hotel renovation is a characteristically playful and surprising Bricault Design project. 


Lead designers: Marc Bricault, Shamus Sachs, Daria Sheina


Team: Miguel Maurer, Jessyca Fan, Lisa Henicz, Travis Stasney, Mathis Kretschmann, Paul Crowley


Other participants (eg. collaborators, clients, consultants, etc):


Clients: Russell Kling, Jelena Kling


Owner’s representative: Paul O’Mara


Architect of record: Integra Architecture


Contractor: Whistler Coast Construction Group Ltd


Millwork: Seagull Enterprises; Daintree Industries Ltd.; Beach Grove


Woodwork: Edward Belch


Metalwork: Metal Mart; Quest Metal Works; Metalcraft Technology Inc.; TheWestern Group / Canada


Murals: Ola Volo


Pod art work: Pavel Pahomov


Structural: Equilibrium Consulting Inc. Mechanical: AME Consulting Group Ltd.


Sprinkler: Novota Engineering Electrical: AES Engineering


Envelope: Level 5 Consulting Ltd.


Photographer: Sama Jim Canzian

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    Bricault’s innovative renovation of a drab 1970s time-share apartment block has created eighty-eight sleeping pods for Whistler’s visitors and a vibrant new public bar and eatery. Pod hotels became popular in Japan as an inexpensive place to rest and revive for the nations’ many salarymen between long workdays. Whistler offers a very different work-leisure balance, but pods solve another problem here. With year-round outdoor activities and scenic beauty, hotel rooms in the...

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