Hoping to create hostels around the world for travellers seeking design-led environments, Generator has recently revealed its Amsterdam location. Created in collaboration with the brand’s global design partner, DesignAgency and local architects IDEA Ontwerp, Generator Amsterdam is located in a restored former health sciences building and zoological museum.
The 168-room hostel follows Generator's concept of great design and an array of spaces that encourage social interaction — all at an affordable price. Many of the building's original, heritage-designated spaces have been preserved and overlaid with contemporary twists. The design mixes the history and charm of the building with Dutch references from folk culture along with custom contemporary artworks.
A range of Dutch artists and designers collaborated on the overall look of the hostel. Blom & Blom collected, restored and redesigned hundreds of light fixtures, many from abandoned factories in East Germany, each of which riffs on the building's new-old duality. Dutch-French muralist and graphic artist Pieter Ceizer painted slogans on the inside of the elevator shaft to mitigate the typically mundane experience of travelling between floors, while Amsterdam's The Bright Side Gallery coordinated a team of additional artists whose works give the project a unique visual identity.
According to DesignAgency principal, Anwar Mekhayech, "Generator Amsterdam grew from a process of getting to know the city, meeting people and discovering its existing hotel scene and lifestyle brands. We also explored the opportunities and limitations of the amazing historic building. More so than ever, collaborations with artists and locals were essential in helping us bring our aspirations to life."
Partnerships with local businesses such as local coffee vendor Stooker Roasting Company and Vanmoof Bicycles make the project even more interesting, successfully integrating it into its surroundings.