In the competitive market of design hostels, Generator sets itself apart by giving each location its own unique style that reflects the local spirit and culture of its host city. The overall creative direction and design language has been crafted by The Design Agency. The latest location recently opened in Barcelona’s Gràcia district and is located in a former office building from the 1960s, which has been completely gutted and rebuilt. The Design Agency has collaborated with local architects, suppliers and artists to create unique features such as super-graphics and unusual light fixtures.
As a flagship, Generator Barcelona combines both a hostel and a hotel. Similar to Barcelona itself, its interior is a tapestry of layers and styles. Sleeping accommodation is simple and comfortable, whilst the public areas are bold and welcoming, encouraging guests to hang out and mingle. Entry through its main doors towards the left leads guests to the warm and energetic hotel lobby and a rear bar with a vibrant mix of textures and patterns, including the ornate Hungarian concrete floor tiles. More than 300 lanterns float above the reception area, for which local artist Julie Plottier was inspired by Barcelona’s annual Festa Major de Gràcia. The strong colours were inspired by Barcelona’s energy and sunlight.
Towards the right of the entrance is the hostel lobby with an internal pavilion that was inspired by Barcelona’s nautical history. Splayed, 7-m-high wooden boards recall the ribs of a ship’s hull. It has also been dubbed ‘the Birdcage’, an association accentuated by its three hanging loungers. A feature staircase winds its way up through the Birdcage to a glass balconied mezzanine overlooking the hostel lobby. Here guests can relax in the library, engage with others over a game of chess in the play room or continue to their rooms.
‘Our design concept for Generator Barcelona was to curate the space like a full-scale art installation’ comments Anwar Mekhayech, The Design Agency.
Images by Nikolas Koenig