The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
From the park entrance, both overnight and casual guests are encouraged to enter and explore via the original marble staircase and stained glass transom. They are greeted by ceramic-and-wood totems by local Dutch artist Hans van Bentem.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
The reception desks are marked by a neon sign of three crossing keys, a tonguein cheek reference to both Amsterdam’s coat of arms and its red light district, along with vertically mounted ‘black rhino’ industrial lights from Blom & Blom. The design team restored original features such as the intricate interior brickwork, stained glass windows and terrazzo floors, then layered in lighting by Blom & Blom and contemporary elements such as Alt Deutsch wallpaper by Studio Job.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
In the Nescio Café, abstracted frames of houses provide intimacy while also nodding to the locale’s proud architectural history. The herringbone floor tiles by 41zero42, rendered in vibrant colours, reference aerial views of tulip fields. Inspired by the perennial pleasures of the out-of-doors, the early morning to late night café is a delightfully breezy space that opens to a park-side terrace. The bar area is completely constructed from the versatile Dutch tile system, Dtile.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Throughout the hostel, custom murals add a youthful energy. Industrial lighting by Blom & Blom adds to the quirky feeling. Seen here, glimpses of stairwell murals by Gino Bud Hoiting and the auditorium mural by Graphic Surgery.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
At the apex of the building, the auditorium bar features preserved raked seating adorned with reading lamps and drinks trays. The auditorium’s original curtains were restored and returned to the space and their hues inspired the colours for the lounge furniture.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
In place of the lectern, a generous bar is presided over by the beer taps and a gleaming espresso machine. Its chalkboard backdrop presents the drinks menu, and raises to display the liquor bottles. Overhead, a signature chandelier by Blom & Blom dangles scientific flasks repurposed from the building.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Into the historically protected auditorium space, three casual lounges – one lifted on a stage, another suspended from a galvanized steel frame and a third on a mezzanine overlooking the bar – encourage movement and people watching. The frame snakes through the space, creating a stair and catwalk that string together the sequence of experiences. The furniture includes a Florence Sofa by Orior By Design, Nido Lounge Chair by Basic Collection, an RS#3 Fooseball Table by RS Barcelona, Sconces and Chandelier by Blom & Blom and miscellaneous vintage pieces from Neef Louis.

 

Located in the up-and-coming eastern side of the city overlooking Oosterpark, Generator Amsterdam occupies a former zoological university building recently transformed by DesignAgency into a cutting-edge hostel.

Generator continues to define a hospitality platform for a new breed of travellers seeking designed environments, exciting curated programming with safe and clean accommodation, at an affordable price and in a great location. The merging of the hostel and hotel experience offers guests all of this, including a greater potential for unexpected social and intellectual encounters. As a result, the target demographic has diversified to include backpackers, families, young professionals and business travellers.

With Generator Amsterdam, the brand’s 10th location, Generator has upped its game, offering overnight guests and locals alike a new level of hostel experience.

 

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
The stately library is now readapted as an event space or a quiet hideaway. The door is flanked by Kamp Horst murals.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Punctuating the library’s dark wood shelving and railings with objectified, orange books and accessories and orange marmoleum flooring. The stacks form private ante-rooms, adjacent to the open area that is equally purposed for meetings, private parties or table tennis (by RS-Barcelona) matches.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Lift lobby hand painted murals.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
In the lower-level canteen, exposed brick walls demonstrate the noble host structure. Birch frames around the periphery signify Amsterdam’s canal row houses. A mix of seating includes Crisis Chairs by Piet Hein Eek, Captains Chair by Andy Thornton, Offcut Stools by Tom Dixon and Taylor Chairs by Souvignet Design and all add to the casual and eclectic feeling.

 

A gateway to Amsterdam’s beautiful Oosterpark, Generator Amsterdam opens its doors to surroundings that include exotic birds, ancient willow trees and a whimsical children’s playground, as well as the Oost neighbourhood, the city’s hottest new destination for art, fashion and independent shops bars and restaurants.

Generator’s global design partner, DesignAgency has collaborated with local architects IDEA Ontwerp to both convert and restore a former health sciences building and zoological museum, and breathe new life into the hundred-year-old brick structure, establishing the most impressive Generator to date. 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.

The flexible and spacious social areas are filled with creative design touches like glass-fronted elevators, a raised café and an outdoor terrace. The former lecture hall is transformed into an impressive chill-out lounge and bar, while the old library is now a relaxation and private-events room. The basement and café are now dining destinations and the original boiler room has become a secret late night bar.

Many of the building’s original, heritage-designated spaces have been preserved and overlaid with contemporary twists. The design confidently mixes the history and charm of the building with Dutch references from folk culture and iconic design, as well as custom contemporary art and the playful lighting that is synonymous with the Generator brand. Partnerships with local businesses such as local coffee vendor Stooker Roasting Company and Vanmoof Bicycles make the project stronger and more successfully integrated into its surroundings.

 

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Throughout, murals, by artists such as Gino Bud Hoiting, are intentionally playful to bring warmth to the originally imposing building.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Each room is accented by a Studio Job wallpaper feature wall. Premium private rooms feature blanket designs by local textile designer Mae Engelgeer, while grey and brass Anglepoise bedside lamps warm up the custom headboards.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
Guest rooms are basic but comfortable, encouraging guests to take advantage of the shared social spaces. Each room is defined by its Studio Job wallpaper. Typical furnishings include W Chairs by Billiani and Offcut Stools by Tom Dixon, (a Generator staple) as well as Anglepoise lighting and Dtiled bathrooms.

The Generator in Amsterdam by Design Agency | Yellowtrace
The Apartment is a two bedroom, two bathroom, kitchen and living room suite that sleeps 5-6 guests.

 

The partnership with various Dutch artists and designers in particular helped to drive the project to new creative heights. 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 witty slogans on the inside of the elevator shaft that upend the otherwise mundane experience of travelling between floors. His idea to do so inspired DesignAgency to install glass panes in the elevator cars. Amsterdam’s The Bright Side Gallery coordinated a team of additional artists, including Kamp Horst, Graphic Surgery, Hans van Bentem and Gino Bud Hoiting. Their sculptures, drawings and graphic interventions give each of their respective spaces strong visual identities, unique personalities and above all conversation starters.

DesignAgency principal, Anwar Mekhayech, goes on to add – “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. We hope that the joy and authenticity of this creative process will touch guests and locals, inspiring them to make their own Amsterdam discoveries.”

 


[Images courtesy of DesignAgency. Photography by Nikolas Koenig.]

 

One Response

  1. kennethmason1kapmken mason

    Fun mix of new and old, organic and inorganic. Opposites that do in fact attract. All the photos show the fun side. But some of the back grounds could and do appear more serious and sedate. So it isn’t all giggles and laughs.

    Reply

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