Slightly more than 20 years after Generator Hostels was founded, a 10th location has opened its doors – hot on the heels of London, Venice, Paris, Hamburg, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Dublin.
Housed in an imposing 100-year-old brick corner building in Amsterdam’s East neighborhood, Generator’s newest offshoot in contemporary and affordable hospitality merges the historic with the modern and the urban with the outdoors, solving the cosmopolitan’s conundrum beautifully.
The hostel, a former health sciences building and zoological museum, boasts terraces that open to the city’s green oasis: the Oosterpark, with its ancient willow trees and exotic birds. For the structure itself, Generator’s global design partner DesignAgency tasked local architecture firm IDEA Ontwerp with the restoration and conversion work. The building’s C-shaped floorplan was preserved, including various original features such as a marble staircase, stained glass transoms, terrazzo floors and intricate interior brickwork while an original auditorium was transformed into a bar with raked seating and typical green reading lamps.
A variety of configurations and designs prove that the property’s 168 rooms are built for respectful social interaction, not mass tourism. So while there are bunk beds, there are also private rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and intimate terraces (all shared spaces are both transparent and allow for privacy). Meanwhile, site-specific artworks created by local artists and designers are placed throughout the hostel. Blom&Blom sourced light fixtures from East Germany that accentuate the old-new duality at play in the building, while murals by graphic artist Pieter Ceizer lend wit to the elevator shaft. Dotted about sculptures, drawings and graphic interventions curated by Amsterdam’s The Bright Side Gallery imbue the hostel’s spaces with different visual identities.