Generator Hostel Barcelona by The Design Agency

Toronto-based The Design Agency have designed the Generator Hostel in Barcelona, Spain.


In Barcelona’s Gràcia district, a short walk from Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló apartments, Generator Barcelona marks not only the rebirth of a building, but also the emergence of the Generator brand. The interiors of the 1960s office building have been completely gutted and rebuilt in a way that demonstrates the tremendous creativity that is being invested in this brand and in each location. The Design Agency has collaborated with local architects, suppliers and artists, creating unique supergraphics, fantastic, unusual light fixtures and signature “G” sculptures.

As a flagship, Generator Barcelona combines both a hostel and a hotel. Similar to Barcelona itself, its interiors are a tapestry of layers and styles. Sleeping accommodations are simple and comfortable and some offer private roof terraces with fantastic views of the city. The public areas encourage guests to hang out and mingle, in a series of lounges offering varied seating options and styles, establishing comfortable nooks and socially engaging experiences.

Entry through its main doors towards the left leads guests to the warm and energetic hotel lobby and a rear bar with a vibrant mix of textures and patterns including ornate Hungarian concrete floor tiles and earthy raw metals and woods, over which float 300+ lanterns inspired by Barcelona’s annual Festa Major de Gràcia by local artist, Julie Plottier. The vibrant colors were inpsired by Barcelona’s energy and sunlight.

Towards the right of the entry is the hostel lobby with an internal pavilion that was inspired by Barcelona’s nautical history. Splayed, 23-foot high wooden boards recall the ribs of a ship’s hull. It has also been dubbed “the Bird Cage”, an association accentuated by its three hanging loungers with neon colored accent pillows by Barcelona design company, Woouf!.

A feature staircase winds its way up through the Bird Cage to a glass balconied mezzanine overlooking the hostel lobby. Here guests can relax in the library where the main attraction is a photobooth that enables them to take a spontaneous retro-style photo strip with friends, and to also upload the pictures to popular social media outlets. Alternatively, guests can entertain themselves with a selection of board games and other curiosities, or use the games room with a pool table, foosball table, loungers and Internet stations.

Generator Hostel Copenhagen by The Design Agency

Toronto-based The Design Agency have designed the Generator Hostel in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Generator Copenhagen combines the practicality and stylishness of Denmark with the social energy and youthfulness of the Generator brand. Centrally located just off Copenhagen’s Kongens Nytorv Square, the six-storey hostel transforms a Philippe Starck-designed apartment building. Its former social spaces and furnishings presented a great starting point for a lively and playful interior that mixes high design with cheap chic.

At street level, a flexible space is used as a pop-up shop or gallery. A side entrance elevator lobby with illustrations of Copenhagen by local artist Tim Bjorn leads guests to the reception area. There, Generator’s signature ‘G’ sculpture–in this case lit with colour-changing LED lights, mixes with layered textures and materials and a mix of signature furnishings reclaimed from the apartment.

A runway leads guests from reception along the canteen and travel information areas to a small café, opening at the bar and disco. Beyond, large socializing lounges are furnished by local manufacturers such as HAY, Bolia and Muuto. The lounges can be separated as required with custom-designed movable dividers covered in Piet Hein Eek’s Scrapwood Wallpaper and punched with antique wooden windows.