A sustainable and affordable designer hostel with a central location: this is Generator Hostel Barcelona, located at the popular Gracia district. Conceived as an accommodation for the modern young travelers, who approach hostels as something more than the place where you just abandon your backpack and come back at the end of the day to have a shower and sleep, Generator pampers common areas with the aim of encouraging interaction and building bridges that might be ephemeral or not.
The refurbishment project of this former office building from the 1960’s was entrusted to Anwar Mekhayech, partner of the Canadian Studio The Design Agency and creative director of all the other 8 Generator hostels which opened prior to Barcelona in cities such as London, Berlin or Venice. According to the designer, the starting point was identical to all of them: “the space had to be understood as a fullscale art installation. It had to be kind of industrial, young, fresh, hipster. It couldn’t be chic or opulent, that was clear”.
Despite all the hostels share elements identifying them as part of the same hotel chain, each one has its own personality. In the case of Generator Barcelona, this was achieved by rummaging in the storehouse of local culture and thus “it was inspired by the bustling, fashionable Gracia district”. Just like the neighbourhood and the city, the hostel is an intricate mosaic where a vast number of styles meet and coexist.
There are plentiful of nods to retro and kitsch. Design furniture mixes with recycled objects. The jumble of paper lanterns, specifically designed by the artist Julie Plottier as a tribute to the Festa Major –Gracia’s annual festival–, get in a risky conjunction with a motley colour palette that jumps from the vivid cement tiles –despite their Hungarian origin, they are worthy heirs to Gaudí’s spirit– to the stools and the sofas.