Live, Work and Play Like a Local at The Student Hotel, Delft

11.30.20 | By
Live, Work and Play Like a Local at The Student Hotel, Delft

The Student Hotel combines student accommodations with hotel rooms and longer-stay options so you can live and work alongside fellow travelers, locals and students – and its latest iteration, in Delft in the Netherlands, is designed with circularity principles in mind.

The space has been designed by Amsterdam-based boutique interior design studio The Invisible Party, in collaboration with the brand’s in-house design team, according to the circular design principles of reducing waste and keeping objects and materials in use.

Opened on October 1, 2020, this new co-working and co-living space has taken up residence next to Delft Central Station in ‘Nieuw-Delft’, the heart of the city’s green development program.

“The Student Hotel has a strong and distinct brand identity across its 15 sites, but for each new location they seek a genuine connection with the city, the neighborhood and the community,” says Vivian van Schagen, founder and creative director of The Invisible Party. “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,”

The agency made circularity and community central to the brief for their scheme and the outcome aims to be a welcoming hub where the community can come together – whether that’s local innovators and creatives, international travelers or students from Delft University of Technology.

To make the students feel at home and provide a visual link with the university, they deliberately chose materials, patterns, prints and shapes with a technical theme in mind; from computer grids to aerodynamic shapes. These were combined with the playful character of The Student Hotel brand and practical requirements of such a multifunctional space with multiple public functions.

Co-working spaces, flexible working zones, conference facilities and meeting pods provide peaceful and private zones for work, study and meetings. The walls inspire visitors through hand-drawn illustrations by graphic designer Monsieur Hubert and a mural by artist Chantal van Heeswijk.

The Commons, the hotel’s restaurant, was inspired by the concept of a ‘grand café’ and designed for locals as well as guests to enjoy. Lush indoor planting, rounded forms and joyful colors soften the concrete columns and extensive glazing.

Curtains, industrial chandeliers and wall-to-wall banquet benches create different zones and seating areas, where guests can dine convivially.

The heart of The Commons is the fifteen-meter long cocktail bar that doubles up as an open kitchen. The eclectic materials and color palette of recycled plastic tables, sky blue bar stools, bright red sofas and a recycled confetti screed floor ensure that the space is always decorated, even before the tables have been set.

The use of recycled plastic is just one of the many circularity-driven design decisions in a project that – driven by the motto “less is more” – in which the reuse, preservation of value and reduction of the carbon footprint were central throughout.

Chairs made from old jeans are paired with vintage pieces and all the screws and bolts designed to be easily removed so that the furniture is ready to be disassembled and repurposed or recycled at the end of its life.

All the hotel’s public surfaces are entirely constructed from recyclable materials, such as recycled plastic milk caps – and a detail that is a sly wink for Dutch guests is that the felt used to cover the walls is made from recycled Efteling costumes. “From a sustainable perspective, we have worked with suppliers and materials that are circular, environmentally friendly or upcycled,” says van Schagen “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.”

What: The Student Hotel, Delft
Where: Van Leeuwenhoekpark 1 2611 DW, Delft
How much: From €69 per night
Highlights: The Commons’ fifteen-meter long cocktail bar made from recycled milk-bottle tops.
Design draw: Hand-drawn illustrations by graphic designer Monsieur Hubert and a mural by artist Chantal van Heeswijk.
Book it: The Student Hotel, Delft

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Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.