An urban design-led hostel with 14 locations across Europe, Generator reinvents budget hospitality by investing in original design to cater to a broad demographic including backpackers, flashpackers, families, young professionals and business travellers. Generator keeps costs down by offering shared and private accommodations that avoid low-priority items such as dressers and phones, while providing the things that matter, such as strong Wi-Fi and private bathrooms with hot rain showers. Generator Rome is located in the bustling Esquilino neighbourhood.
A key landmark of the ancient Roman trade routes, the area is one of the oldest parts of the city, full of turn-of-the-century charm and a place where artists and butchers mingle with immigrants and intellectuals. Drawing inspiration from the distinctive flavours of this diverse and historic neighbourhood, the design team created a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere with subtle ethnic flair.
The lighting is a vital component of the environment, adding a playfulness synonymous with the Generator brand, along with texture and warmth to enhance the social nature of the public spaces.The lobby is a bright, open and gallery-inspired room with polished concrete floors, white plaster walls and an inviting reception desk created from Venetian plaster. A custom-made, feature light fixture above the desk includes rods of bamboo and Seletti Fluo tube lights, arranged at random to contrast with the arches surrounding reception.
The area is also programmed for live music and local art, including a custom mural by famous Italian street artist, Luca Maleonte. The design team sourced vintage oil paintings from local thrift shops to further emphasize the gallery nature of the space. Together, the art and lighting add to the sense of discovery, so that whether you are a guest or a local, the space invites you to wander through and uncover delightful surprises at every turn.
The cafe to the right of reception was conceived as an airy environment, and the perfect spot to enjoy an espresso at one of the communal tables. Above the café counter, a custom light fixture of pots and pans by local design duo Rigodritto pays homage to “Nona’s kitchen”. Light boxes in the café, also by Rigodritto, depict scenes from around Rome, illuminated to create ambiance and atmosphere.
White tile and distressed plaster walls, oak floors, and light bentwood furniture further contribute to the inviting nature of the space. In contrast to the stark reception, the bar is designed to feel like a collection of treasures found on a Roman explorer’s voyage through the Far East. Neon orange archways, colourful patterned floors, bottle green wall tiles, and a scaled-up palm wall covering that create the background for this eclectic space.
The mood changes from vibrant to sultry as guests come towards the bar, where a crush of red hanging lanterns creates a sense of play and movement while providing a warm glow. These lights also add Asian influence to the space – a nod to nearby Chinatown – conjuring up the Old World in a modern reincarnation. Generator Rome is iconic, spare and minimalist, yet still rich with an exciting and ethnic vibe.
Outside Design Consultants: Artec
Purchasing company: Benjamin West
Corridors – Carpet tiles: Class Design SRL, Rome, IT
Corridors – Wall Sconce: Tam Tam, Marset
Stairs – Carpet: Flotex by Foro
Paint (indoor and outdoor) – Sikkens
Bar/lounge – Flooring: Cementine tile by Fioranese, Modenes, IT
Graphic Wall coverings – Glamora Creative Wall Coverings, Roteglia, IT
Reception – Lounge Chair: Arca High Back Armchair, True Design SRL, S. Elena, IT
Reception – Iron drum coffee table, One World Interiors, Amsterdam, NL
Reception – Cheswick Sofa, Orior By Design, UK
Lobby/Reception – Park Chair by Bensen, Azzano Decimo, IT
Reception – Hexagon Stool/coffee table, HOrm & Orizzonti SRL, Pasiano Di Pordenone
Reception – Floor lamp, Anglepoise, Hampshire, UK
Reception – Pendant light, Trainspotters, Stroud, UK
Reception – Feature light installation, Not Bamboo Light, Gam Fratesi, Copenhagen
Reception – Up down light, Astro Lighting, Harlow, UK
Reception – Neon light, Custom
Bar/Lounge – Tagg Barstool, UHS Group, Abingdon, UK
Bar/lounge and café – Drapery: Kvadrat, Denmark
Bar/lounge – Leather Banquette: Crest Leather, London, UK
Bar/Lounge -Wall and Column tiles,– Skiathos Ceramin Tile, Grestec Tiles, Kent, UK
Bar/lounge – Wallcoverings, Contemporary restyled Palm Jungle, Cole and Sons, London, UK
Bar/lounge – Dining Chair, Gervasoni SPA, Pavia Di Udine, IT
Restaurant/bar.lounge -Carrara marble top table, Drucker, Paris, FR
Bar/lounge – Black wood dining chair, Dialma Brown, Cicognolo, IT
Bar/lounge – Kirkby sofa, UHS Group, Abingdon, UK
Bar/lounge – Katakana sofa, Dare Studio, Brighton, UK
Bar/lounge – Portofino rectangular coffee table, Roberti Rattan, Tarzo, IT
Bar/lounge – Pavo Real Outdoor Chair, Poltrona, UK
Bar/ lounge – Vintage Wall lamp, LEDS-C4, UK
Bar/lounge – Windpoint Ceiling, Fanimation from Andy Thornton, Elland, UK
Bar/lounge – table lamp, Bobo Boom, Paris, FR
Bar/lounge – Fluorescent neon lamp, Seletti, Cicognara Di Viadana, IT
Restaurant – Vintage side table, Lark Vintage, Somerset, UK
Restaurant – Bowl coffee table, Mater, Firenze, IT
Restaurant – Banquette and dining table – Apollo II by Heerenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium
Café – Poltroncina dining chair, Cargo Milano, Milan, IT
Café – Banquette upholstery: Kvadrat, DE
Café – Offcut stool, Tom Dixon, London, UK
Café – Cross table, Heerenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium
Café – Metal chair, Heerenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium
Café – Brass wall sconce, Anglepoise, Hampshire, UK
Café – Stretch arm sconce – Bolia, Aarhus, DE
Café – Whistling Swan Pendant, Blom & Blom, Amsterdam, NL
Dorm – ARA Armchair, Porada, Como, IT
Dorm – armchair, Calligaris, Manzano, IT
Dorm – Lounge/Butoaca chair, Lobster’s Day, Barcelona, ES
Architect: L22 (Lombardini 22) – Milan, Italy
General Contractor: Mace – Rome, Italy
Photographer: Måns Berg Photography AB