The usability of communal spaces definitely took a hit over the last year, but the end of pandemic-related shutdowns is finally in sight, and soon, many people will be clamoring to hang out with strangers again. The new Student Hotel in Delft is one place that’ll likely see a flood of guests, thanks in no small part to its playful and dynamic design. Combining guest rooms, common areas, an in-house restaurant, and a co-working space, the hotel is primed to cater to travelers and local remote workers alike.
Amsterdam design studio The Invisible Party roots The Student Hotel in circular design principles, celebrating recycled and recyclable materials and building just about everything so it can be dismantled and reused or repurposed someday. Visibly recycled details include chairs made of vintage jeans, a bar made of milk bottle caps, and a confetti screed floor in restaurant “The Commons,” which also features wall-to-wall banquet benches, eclectic vintage furniture, soft curtains, and a variety of seating zones accommodating solo workers, small groups, and larger gatherings.
“The colorful wall cladding at the entrance consists of more than 100 tiles produced with recycled plastics,” the designers say. “Part of the boundary-blurring concept is creating many different functions on the ground floor. A gym, game area, and even the laundry were given a prominent place and contribute to the overall guest experience.”
TSH Collab, the co-working space, is one of the hotel’s most important functions. Meeting pods, study zones, library-style work tables, conference facilities, and privacy pods offer just about everything most remote workers look for in a public workspace, so there’s room to tap away on a laptop, make calls, brainstorm, and take breaks to socialize.
A short yellow staircase dotted with pillows and oval tables stretches nearly 100 feet to serve as a casual meeting or study area by day, though it can be easily transformed into an event space or auditorium for private events. At the top of the stairs is an atrium featuring a custom light installation made of fluorescent lines, which “brings magic and wonder to the room.” To keep this area from feeling overwhelming, the designers worked in a few cozy nooks and pods. Also splashed across surfaces throughout the public spaces are custom graphics and patterns with a technical theme, referencing computer grids and “aerodynamic shapes.”
The design is all targeted to appeal to Delft’s youthful and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as its industrial history. Much of the color scheme revolves around classic “Delft Blue,” the shade most famously seen in the city’s pottery and dishware, in combination with the Student Hotel’s own trademark colors, as seen in their other locations in places like Amsterdam, The Hague, Florence, Vienna, Maastricht, and Barcelona.
“The Student Hotel has a strong and distinct brand identity, but for each new location they seek a genuine connection with the city, the neighborhood, and the community. For Delft, we tapped into the technical DNA and history of the city as the basis for our project research. This ultimately gave this project its own identity and experience within the lines of the brand,” notes Vivian van Schagen, founder and Creative Director of The Invisible Party.