24 Mar 2021 •
Shortlisted - Learning Space of the Year
The Student Hotel Delft
The Invisible Party
The Student Hotel, a hybrid between student accommodation, hotel, co-working, meeting, and event spaces opened up a new destination in Delft, The Netherlands. All public areas and workplaces, as well as the co-working space “Collab” and the in-house restaurant “The Commons” were designed by The Invisible Party according to circular design principles.
With the multifunctional character and the numerous public functions of the building in mind, the design studio managed to effortlessly incorporate usability and to create a link between The Student Hotel and Delft University of Technology, without losing sight of the playful character of the brand. To make the students feel at home and provide a visual link with the university, The Invisible Party deliberately chose materials, patterns, prints, and shapes with a technical theme in mind; from computer grids to aerodynamic shapes. These were combined with the playful character of The Student Hotel brand and practical requirements of such a multifunctional space with multiple public functions.
“The Student Hotel has a strong and distinct brand identity, but for each new location, they seek a genuine connection with the city, the neighborhood, and the local community. For Delft, we tapped into the technical DNA and history of the city as the basis for our project research. This ultimately gave the project its own identity and experience within the lines of the brand.” says Vivian van Schagen, creative director of The Invisible Party.
Circular design principles
The use of recycled plastic is just one of the many circularity-driven design decisions in a project that is based on the three circular design principles: reduce, reuse, and recycle. In other words: design-out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems.
Most of the fixed furniture is modular by design and the use of glue was avoided in construction to ensure easy disassembly in the future so their individual parts can be sourced back into a new production cycle.
All the hotel’s public surfaces are entirely constructed with recyclable materials. One detail that is a sly wink for Dutch guests is the wall panels out of felt that are made from recycled Efteling costumes. Vintage furniture pieces from previous The Student Hotel properties received a facelift through new upholstering and can be found throughout the building.
“From a sustainable perspective, we really went all the way and have tirelessly worked with suppliers to find solutions and materials that are circular and environmentally friendly.” says Van Schagen “One example is the impressive wall on entry; for this we made a recycled plastic wall covering, designed with a Delft Blue color theme to which we added a distinct The Student Hotel color accent.”
The restaurant design was inspired by the concept of a ‘grand café’ and designed for students as well as locals to enjoy. Lush indoor planting, rounded forms, and joyful colors soften the concrete columns and extensive glazing. Curtains, industrial chandeliers, and wall-to-wall banquet benches create different zones and seating areas, where guests can dine convivially.
The heart of The Commons is the fifteen-meter long cocktail bar that doubles up as an open kitchen. The eclectic materials and color palette of recycled plastic tables, sky blue bar stools, bright red sofas, and a recycled confetti screed floor ensure that the space is always decorated, even before the tables have been set.
Innovative meeting spaces
The Student Hotel aims to give innovators and creatives a place to flourish, provide a home for students and be a welcoming hub where the community can come together. Therefore the public spaces are not only serving as meeting and study areas for the students living at TSH but also welcome hotel guests and long stayers as well as local residents of Delft to come in and have a seat. There are ample seating areas that people can work, study and do brainstorm sessions from, in addition, several facilities for events and conferences are available. Through its multi-functionality, the space allows different setups for flexible usage ranging from co-working spaces, adaptable working zones, and conference facilities. Various nooks provide peaceful and private zones for work, study, and meetings.
The walls inspire visitors through hand-drawn illustrations by graphic designer Monsieur Hubert and murals by artist Chantal van Heeswijk.