here's a fun one!

my client has a friend who want to create a 'manga cafe' within an existing shopping mall. but, he wants to take it another step further for the tourists waiting for their flights back home. he wants to create semi-private cubicles where the tourists can work on the internet, read, eat, chat, and nap on soft chairs.

the building is sprinklered, and there's no occupancy separations between store tenants.

it is the sleeping part that concerns me. my first thought is if they sleep, then this moves towards a Group R-1 Occupancy. but this is not really a hotel for overnight or multiple night stays. my thought is that the most vulnerable use is the sleeping, and that would be the most appropriate level of safety required to be provided.

so if i go that route, immediately i get stuck on the cubicles. would each of these be considered as a sleeping unit, even if there are no beds, or showers in them? partition walls are clearly not rated, as they don't even go to the ceiling. an occupancy separation for the whole space would be problematic, as the entry is all full height, store wide glazing (like in most malls).

as for the rest of the concept, i think if fits in well with the mall function. in fact, i like the idea, as i've done lots of traveling, and have been stuck in airports for long periods of time. most of the older ones, especially overseas, don't have areas where you can sleep (and not lose everything you own).

so, what do you think? as always, appreciate your help!
Original Post
As usual, more info would be helpful. But, based on just what you outline, conceptually this sounds to me like a more comfortable version of a chair in an airport gate/waiting area where people nod off while awaiting a delayed flight. Taken to its logical conclusion looking at this as an 'occupancy' issue would raise the obvious question: if people take a nap in the gate/waiting area, does that make it a dormitory?

If partitions are 'partial' and the set-up is "semi-private" (meaning not closed off from the public area re acoustics, light, safety alarms, etc.), I fail to see why this would arouse a safety issue. If there is no heightened safety issue, then why would you think a re-classification is needed (which is really only to ensure that occupants are safe)?
thanks hil,

i think the difference between this and an airport gate seating are the partitions, where the occupants cannot be seen. so visual monitoring that is easily done when looking at a bunch of seats, is much different here.

most cafes do not sell time or space that allows for sleeping. granted, the cubicles would allow for light and safety alarms, they do not provide the separation from other spaces (that we provide for most sleeping uses). that's why i'm asking, as i do want to make sure the occupants are safe.

thanks for your comments.

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