Having undergone a significant transformation, Generator’s flagship urban design hostel in London now emanates the signature energy and distinctly modern flair unique to the brand’s growing portfolio. Located in a former police station in Russell Square, the new design concept was conceived by Anwar Mekhayech and his team from Toronto-based DesignAgency to express the dynamism of London’s bustling streets.
Within the highly competitive market of design hostels, Generator is certainly holding its own. Under the vision and direction of Josh Wyatt, director of Hospitality and Leisure at Patron Capital – Generator’s parent company – the brand already has eight locations in seven cities, with Paris- and Rome-based venues poised to open in 2015, and an ambitious target of 18 hostels by 2018.
Offering a winning formula of cool, stylish and affordable accommodation, the aesthetic of each Generator hostel is heavily influenced by the local spirit and culture of its host city, with an emphasis on bold and exciting social spaces.
Anwar Mekhayech and his team from Toronto-based DesignAgency were keen to embrace this concept for Generator London, and partnered with local architects ORBIT and Shoreditch-based art collective Acrylicize to weave strands of London’s history, culture and styles within Generator London’s diverse social and intimate spaces.
“London presented the tricky task of updating a 15-year-old hostel, housed in a former police station,” explains Anwar. “Made up of a labyrinth of rooms, we were inspired to create a series of concept spaces, each with a distinct character and feel.
“Our goal was to accentuate Generator’s newly-developed branding and design-style while paying tribute to London’s hip, mod character. Walking through the new Generator London, you become immersed in the Generator experience that now exists all over Europe.”
Guests to Generator London are greeted by a laser-cut “hello”, a saluting British bobby, and a glowing smiley face atop a monolithic, British navy-inspired reception desk. Steeped in reclaimed wood and brick, this central reception serves as the entry point to all areas of the hotel.
A vivid canary-yellow chill-out room – which can also be used for screenings – features zig-zagging strips of light which transform the space into an immersive and energetic environment. Complete with custom games tables, tiered seating, cork stools from Vitra and Tacchini Spin ottomans, the space provides guests with a flexible and relaxed area to hang out, plug in and connect.
An all-day café offers diverse areas for groups large or small to eat, drink and socialise. In a raised plaid cove, guests can pull up a Tom Dixon Fluoro stool to the communal table with Castor lighting above, or have a more intimate conversation around one of the circular wooden tables with Moooi Chairs. The space also features a zinc bar with a tin-panel ceiling and chocolate brown oak wood details, complete with denim-upholstered bar stools.
Leather egg chairs, Tom Dixon marble tables and a Moooi black spider light add a contemporary twist to the traditional British pub aesthetic, where guests can gather around Goodwives and Warrior’s hand-painted piano.
In the dorm rooms, meanwhile, boldly coloured camouflage graphics wrap the walls and ceiling. Though the Generator ‘premium rooms’ have private en-suite bathrooms, the dorm rooms are simple and functional in their design, encouraging guests to spend time in the hostel’s vibrant social areas.