Wewelsiep Asipowicz Forsting Partnerschaft mbB

Generator Hostel: Refurbishment and Change of Use

Oranienburger Straße 65, Berlin-Mitte

Work stages: 1-5, quality control An existing office complex was stripped back to the structure and converted into a Generator Hostel. The client brief was to create as many rooms as possible in the existing complex consisting of a listed warehouse building to back of the site and an slightly uninspiring 90s building to the street. The result was 139 rooms with en suite bathrooms on the upper floors and a total of 578 beds, arranged according to a client schedule of room types; twins and 4-, 6- and 8-bed dorms. The ground floor houses the communal areas: reception, café, bar, breakfast room and administrative offices. The basement contains mainly service areas and disabled parking. To increase the bar area on the ground floor, an existing ramp which previously led to underground parking, was removed and replaced with a car lift. Generator Hostels attract young guests and project a cool, tough but funky image. The choice of materials and colours reflects this. The concrete structure which was revealed during ripping out of the old interiors was left exposed in the corridors and guest rooms. Most the colours are subdued, and act as a background to bright signal colours which help orientation in the building. The bathrooms were designed as wet rooms and use tough industrial tiles on the floors and walls. The zigzag corridor walls came about as a solution to a technical problem, but, accentuated by the colour scheme and the lighting, have the bonus of turning the corridors memorable spaces. The oversized room numbers are a Generator trade mark. In this project the numbers were printed into the laminate, to be permanent and resistant to damage.

Construction: March 2012 – March 2013

Net area: ca. 5.500 sq m

Client: Patron Mitte Properties GmbH (Generator Hostels)

The project was selected for the da! 2014 exhibition by the Architektenkammer 14th March – 5th April in Stilwerk, Kantstraße 17, 10623 Berlin

See also under “Artists and Wallpaper”: a custom wallpaper design was designed for the hostel based on designs by the artist Thierry Noir.

General contractor: Hagenauer GmbH

Furniture: Generator Hostels

Photos: ©Werner Hutmacher / ©WAF Architekten