IDEA ONTWERP/DESIGNAGENC Y
The Generator brand is a hybrid of the hostel and the hotel aimed
at a market described as ‘backpackers, flashbackers, families, young
professionals and business travellers’. Generator Amsterdam, next
to Oosterpark, is the 10th to open its doors. DesignAgency and
local architect IDEA Ontwerp collaborated to convert and restore
a 100-year old, former health sciences building and zoological
museum into a 168-guestroom hostel.
Many of the building’s original, heritage-designated spaces have
been preserved and overlaid with contemporary twists, mixing
bespoke artworks, graphics interventions and playful lighting.
Blom & Blom, based in Amsterdam and Berlin, and run by
siblings Kamiel and Martijn Blom, collected, restored and
redesigned hundreds of fixtures, many of them retrieved from
abandoned factories in East Germany.
The lighting ranges in mood from playful to purposeful, layered
into original features such as intricate interior brickwork, stained
glass windows and terrazzo floors. The chandelier over the bar is
made from laboratory flasks found during the renovation. At the
top of the building, the auditorium bar features conserved, raked
seating with reading lamps and drinks trays. The reception has a
neon sign of three crossing keys – a jokey reference to Amsterdam’s
coat of arms and its red light district – and vertically mounted
‘black rhino’ industrial lights. N i k o l