Open side-bar Menu
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

GENERATOR VENICE in Venezia VE, Italy by DesignAgency

March 12th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: DesignAgency

The newest destination in Generator’s expanding portfolio, Generator Venice aims to change Venice’s staid hotel and nightlife scene. The hostel occupies an 1855 Palazzo originally built as a granary warehouse, converted in the 1950s into Venice’s only hostel. On the waterfront of the quiet, residential island of Giudecca, Generator is a one-stop vaporetto (water bus) ride from Venice’s main hub of San Marco’s Square. Each of the modern rooms – from the private suites to the dormitories – have panoramic views of neighbouring gardens, across to the Lido, the Grand Canal, or to San Marco and the Doges Palace.

The hostel occupies an 1855 Palazzo originally built as a granary warehouse, converted in the 1950’s into Venice’s only hostel. The Fine Arts Committee and Venetian planning laws meant no changes to the frontage, Image Courtesy © Jamie Smith

  • Architects: DesignAgency
  • Location: Fondamenta Zitelle, 86, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy
  • Photography: Jamie Smith and Nikolas Koenig
  • Size: 26,000 sq feet and 241 beds
  • Completion: September, 2013
  • Owner: Generator / Patron Capital
  • Local Project Architect: Progetto CMR, Milan, Italy
  • Project Management: EC Harris, Milan, Italy
  • Room Rates: Starting at €23 for a dorm bed

The design confidently mixes the history and charm of the historic building with local craft and culture, as well as the contemporary design and playfulness that is synonymous with the Generator brand, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

One would be excused for mistaking the main floor for an upscale hotel. Entry through the stylish glass vestibule reveals a jewel box of discovery. The design confidently mixes the history and charm of the historic building with local craft and culture, as well as the contemporary design and a playfulness that is synonymous with the Generator brand.

On entering, guests are greeted by a prominent wood and leather bar, Fantini mosaic floors, and rich velvet curtains, as well as Tom Dixon bronze orb lighting, Marcel Wanders bar stools and off-the-cuff vintage finds, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

A small army of structural specialists, archaeologists and restorers brought the building’s stone columns, timber beams and roof trusses and the grand twin staircases back to their original glory, giving insight to the interior’s beauty during the grain warehouse period. Under the strict eye of Venice’s Fine Arts Committee, the designers upgraded services, added an elevator, new rooms and bathrooms, providing 21st century comfort without marring the integrity of the historic building.

Guests are encouraged to leave a ‘love lock’ similar to the famous bridges of Paris & Venice attached to the wire mesh of the electric G sculpture, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

To establish an atmosphere of romance and flirtation, DesignAgency divided the small main floor space into intimate and exposed enclaves, some at different levels and some shielded by a tufted leather bar. To this they added prime examples of Venetian style, manufacturing and culture, including Rubelli textile curtains, a Fantini mosaic floor, a Murano glass clown chandelier and a stone fireplace, handcrafted in Verona, to replicate a fireplace designed by Palladio in the 16th century. They wove these traditional elements with bold threads of contemporary design: Tom Dixon’s Off-cut Flouro Stool (now a Generator signature); Dixon’s bronze orbs over the bar; and the first installation of Marcel Wanders’ New Antique Stool by Moooi – its hard, voluptuous silhouette complimenting the pillowy bar-front.

Arm chairs invite guests to cozy up around the fireplace lit by a neon fuoco sign, under a playful Murano glass chandelier with hanging clowns. The dramatic ‘jungle fever’ wallpaper is by Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

And in true Generator style, Generator Creative Director and DesignAgency Principal Anwar Mekhayech drove around Italy in a Fiat van, visiting antique markets such as the famous Fiera di Parma, and the monthly outdoor market Piazzola sul Brenta, purchasing mix-matched furniture such as an old apothecary cabinet, that becomes the backdrop to the DJ booth when the hostel kicks into party mode; a four poster bed that invites romantic trysts; as well as carpets, art, mirrors, and amusing and memorable curiosities, such as a neon sign situated in the fireplace that reads “fuoco” (Italian for fire). The collage of styles and effects, the late-night bar and this cheeky little sign suggest that Generator is ready to re-ignite Venice as Europe’s notorious party hotspot.

Generator Venice redefines what is understood by the word ‘hostel’. The main floor is a comfortable mix of historic architectural features, local antique finds and contemporary twists. A four poster bed invites romantic trysts and an electric sign in the handcarved fireplace reads “Fucco” (Italian for ‘fire’), Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

“Venice represents a key tourist destination in Italy but it’s also known for being a rather expensive one. Generator Venice is uniquely placed on Giudecca, with commanding views of St. Mark’s, and is the ideal base from which to explore the fascinating art and history of this great city. Generator is unique in having the only larger hostel in the city (on the archipelago) – giving it a real edge over those on the mainland given Venice’s maritime heritage. But however well located and design-led, our accommodation is still highly affordable and opens Venice to a wider audience of savvy, younger and budget conscious travellers.”

Carl Michel, Executive Chairman of Generator

The dorm bedrooms are modern, clean and quiet – each with a spectacular view of the surroundings, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

“How unusual it is to have a contemporary design-savvy interior in Venice. Venice’s architecture is a reflection of the city’s provenance and the building where Generator Venice is keeping within this historic context. The façade and the main internal features have been kept intact and the public space has been brought to life using contemporary design. Generator is the perfect example of how a traditional exterior can be refreshed with a modern décor. Generator is proving to be good alternative for business travellers. Our guests are still mainly young travellers but there is definitely an increase in the number of visitors who are travelling for work but prefer the more relaxed atmosphere of a private room at Generator. They are business travellers who are looking for lively public spaces and wide range of events, rather than a more corporate hotel environment”.

Josh Wyatt, Partner, Hospitality & Leisure at Patron Capital

Entry through the heavy bronze and glass doors reveals a jewel box of discovery, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

“We were inspired by this magical city to develop a more romantic style for Generator Venice — a forum for art, design and social spaces to come together and propose playful interactions. We worked closely with the architect and historic restoration specialists to establish an authentic foundation that is deeply layered with soulfulness and Venetian history and culture. The contemporary furnishings and fun vintage finds add energy and transform the interior into a more sophisticated and dramatic space.”

Anwar Mekhayech, Partner, DesignAgency; Creative Director, Generator

A century old harvest table serves as the breakfast buffet as light streams in from the rear garden, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

DesignAgency is an award-winning Toronto based design consultancy. Managed by partners and long-time friends Allen Chan, Matt Davis and Anwar Mekhayech, the studio unites architectural, interior design, industrial design, branding and digital design expertise. With a local and international portfolio of projects working for leading companies, developers, restaurateurs, retailers and hoteliers, each client works directly with one or more of our partners, reflecting our belief that great design requires leadership, focus and commitment.

At the dining table, Tom Dixon’s Off-cut Flouro Stool (now a Generator signature) mixes with vintage finds, and dramatic red velvet drapes, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

Our success is rooted in our collaborative and consultative approach by which our multidisciplinary team of talented design professionals engage internally with the partners and clients to craft innovative, custom designed spaces that help levate the consumer experience.

We embrace the full spectrum of design typologies and remain open to innovative ideas, technologies, and new creative design approaches that will enable us to bring the best solutions forward to our clients.

The project introduces upgraded services such as an elevator, providing 21st century comfort without marring the integrity of the historic building, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

Generator ( offers travellers stylish, design-led, safe, central and affordable accommodation. As Europe’s fastest growing hostel brand, Generator currently has nearly 5,200 beds located across six countries. The portfolio expanded to eight locations in summer 2013 with the addition of its first venture in Spain (Barcelona) and its second in Berlin. These join Generator Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, London and Venice.

Characterised by their cutting-edge design, central locations, creative events, locally-inspired menus and wide range of room options, from private en-suite twins to female-only dorms, each Generator hostel offers free Wi-Fi, stylish bar and chill-out areas, 24-hour security, plus a free walking tour of the city. Welcoming, knowledgeable staff are on hand around the clock to provide advice on exploring the local area and other tips for a memorable city stay.

For our latest news follow us on or

Two flanking stairwells from the original building have been colorfully dressed up with way finding graphics and natural light, Image Courtesy © Nikolas Koenig

Established in 1999, Patron Capital Partners has evolved into one of the leading opportunistic real estate managers in Europe. Main advisory offices located in the UK and Luxembourg and operations in Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. Patron represents approx €2.3 billion of capital across several funds and related co-investments, from prominent universities, major institutions, private foundations, and high net worth individuals located throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Image Courtesy © DesignAgency

Its strategy is to back local partners and management teams in growing their respective business, investing in property, corporate operating entities whose value is primarily supported by property assets and distressed debt and credit related businesses.

Through its large network of partners and advisors, Patron is unparalleled as an originator or financial and operating investor and partner.

Image Courtesy © DesignAgency

Image Courtesy © DesignAgency

Related posts:

Contact DesignAgency

Tags: ,

Category: Hotel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Kenesto: 30 day trial
Bentley: -YII 2018 Awards
AIA 2018 - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2018 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
25 North 14th Steet, Suite 710, San Jose, CA 95112
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise