Generator Paris is the newest addition to Generator’s rapidly expanding chain of distinctive and eclectic urban design hotels. Under the creative direction of Anwar Mekhayech from DesignAgency, the hostel’s bold and creative interior draws upon the cinematic experience of strolling Paris’s streets.
Situated in Paris’s 10th arrondissement – a trendy neighbourhood known for its hip galleries, cafes and bars – Generator stands opposite the prestigious French Communist Headquarters designed by Oscar Niemeyer, just a short stroll from”Canal Saint-Martin and Buttes-Chaumont Park.
Originally constructed in 1985 as an eight-storey office block, the property was gutted and transformed by Parisian project architect, Studios d’Architecture Ory & Associés, with Toronto-based DesignAgency heading up the interior. Accommodating up to 916 guests in a range of shared rooms, twin rooms and penthouse rooms with private terraces, this is the largest Generator property to date.
Fundamental to the brief was that the property should uphold Generator’s passion for creating affordable, design-driven accommodation in prime locations, with a particular emphasis on a wide variety of vibrant social spaces.
Capturing the romance, shifting moods and rich colours of the French capital, Anwar and his team have created a series of mise-en-scènes that play with the border between fiction and reality.
The”interior’s industrial-themed backdrop is contrasted with warm materials, tactical textures and vintage finds from Parisian flea markets. Signature design elements include pieces from”Tolix, Jielde and Tom Dixon, combined with unique pieces made by emerging industrial and furniture designers such as Blom & Blom, Spain’s Lobster’s Day and local artists including Romain Guillet and You Talking to Me.
Upon stepping off”Colonel Fabien Place into the hostel lobby, guests are greeted by a dramatically-lit marquee, suspended over a lively, Mondrian-inspired reception desk. A moss ‘G’ by French studio, You Talking to Me, adds a natural, sculptural and textural relief.
Opposite the marquee, a travel shop and cafe establish a moody atmosphere. The seemingly ad-hoc play of industrial and vintage streetlights, a retro clock, art deco signage, raw, industrial surfaces, classic French industrial design pieces by Tolix and Jielde and a 1980s glass wall mural that was part of the original building, come together to present Generator’s signature mixing of styles, themes and ideas.
Nearby, the design team created an installation combining the glass mural from the original building with Seletti light sticks and Lucille macrame plant hangers from Berlin-based collective Llot Llov. A plywood, foam and milk-crate bench by emerging Parisian artist Romain Guillet completes the tableau.
On the upper level, a Moroccan-infused chill-out space features custom wood pallet and kilim sectionals, and a typographic mural by Dutch designer and typographic artist, Ceizer. The lounge terminates with a library and collaborative work space – playfully completed with a ping-pong table from RS Barcelona.
Distressed concrete wallpaper by Piet Boon for NLXL, wood-clad ceilings, Moroccan-inspired carpets, and signature flea market finds come together to establish a playful and unpretentious setting.
Channeling the vibe of Paris’ many brasserie-lined streets, meanwhile, Café Fabien and its adjoining canteen open up to a garden and solarium. Inspired by romantic notions of the French farm, the designers chose to create an agricultural feeling in the canteen. Metal and upholstered pods, marble café tables and wood countertops offer a variety of seating options for groups large or small, to eat, drink and hang out.
‘Barn doors’ open to an alcove that features floral wallpaper by Nathalie Lété for Domestic. The metal frames of the French school chairs were painted the signature colour of Yves Klein, one of France’s best known 20th Century artists.
A curved concrete stair descends to the bar, conveying the impression of a secret Parisian metro party. Black leather banquettes, globular vintage street lights, and murals of Paris’ south bank in the style of famed french commercial artist Cassandre, set the mood for eventful evenings.
The bar’s reclaimed wood, hot-rolled steel, slate details and Puma lighting by Blom & Blom establish a retro industrial style. The designers worked extensively with young artists and custom suppliers, including typographic signage artist Alex Fowkes from London.
The design team reclaimed a portion of the underground parking garage to create a lower-level bar, complete with authentic, retro pattern seat fabrics and curved metro tiles, and terminating in a super-graphic print of a platform by local French photographer Ludovic Le Couster.
Encouraging guests to make the most of these vibrant and imaginative social areas, the guest rooms are simple, yet functional – equipped with comfortable, custom-designed beds, en-suite bathrooms, personal lighting and wi-fi.
A nod to the bookstalls lining the Seine, the twin suites are defined by their book wallpaper by Mineheart, as well as quintessential French details such as Lampes Gras lighting.
Upper twin rooms, meanwhile, feature custom sliding twin beds that can be set up as queens. All rooms have en-suite washrooms and premium rooms, including large terraces with hammocks that overlook the city.