Amsterdam-based design studio The Invisible Party has recently completed the latest location for The Student Hotel in the Dutch city of Delft. All common areas, private workplaces, Collab coworking space and The Commons internal restaurant were designed based on the principles of circular design.
Located in Nieuw-Delft, the green heart of the city close to Delft Central Station, the Student Hotel aims to give creatives a place to innovate and create, provide a home for students and be a welcoming center for the whole community.
“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,” says Vivian van Schagen, founder and creative director of The Invisible Party. With the multifunctional character and the numerous public functions of the building in mind, the design studio managed to effortlessly incorporate usability and created a visual link between The Student Hotel and Delft University of Technology, without losing sight of the playful character of the brand. Materials, patterns, prints and shapes have been purposefully designed with a technical theme in mind; from computer grids to aerodynamic shapes.
For the restaurant The Commons, the design studio brought to life a contemporary version of a grand café, meant for locals to enjoy. The large open industrial space with many windows and concrete columns has been given a casual and cozy appearance by implementing classic grand café references. Round shapes, expressive colors and tactile materials add warmth to the room. By using curtains, industrial chandeliers, plants and wall-to-wall banquet benches, many different seating areas have been created where guests can dine intimately. The heart of The Commons is the fifteen meter long cocktail bar that also serves as an open kitchen. The eclectic materials and color palette, of recycled plastic tables, sky blue bar stools, burgundy red sofas and a recycled confetti screed floor ensure that the space is always decorated, even before the tables have been set.
Bringing neighbors together and connecting the community is central to The Student Hotel and it is the design’s task to stimulate this. This is reflected in, among other things, TSH Collab, where The Invisible Party designed the co-working spaces. In the heart of the space there are various meeting pods where people can work, study or consult in peace and privacy. In addition, all amenities for flexible working and conference facilities are available. A detail that is a sly wink for Dutch guests is that the felt used to cover the walls in TSH Collab is made from recycled Efteling costumes. The walls inspire visitors through hand-drawn illustrations by graphic designer Monsieur Hubert and a mural by artist Chantal van Heeswijk.
During the design process, The Student Hotel placed great emphasis on circularity, with less-is-more as the motto. The public areas of TSH Delft have been given a circular design, which means that reuse, preservation of value and reduction of the carbon footprint are central. The furniture has similarly been developed in a circular manner – all screws and bolts can be easily removed so that it is ready for recycling. In addition, there are chairs made of old jeans and guests encounter vintage furniture and items that first served at another The Student Hotel location.
All areas are entirely constructed from recyclable materials. For example, recycled plastic milk caps by The Student Hotel have been used for parts of the bar coverings in The Commons, the use of glue has been avoided and all walls have been provided with water-based paint. “From a sustainable perspective, we have worked with suppliers and materials that are circular, environmentally friendly or upcycled. An example is the impressive wall on entry; for this we made a recycled plastic wallcovering, designed with a Delft Blue color theme to which we added a distinct The Student Hotel color accent,” notes Vivian van Schagen, creative director of The Invisible Party.