RECREATION AND EDUCATION IN NATURE – NEWLY REALIZED STAYOKAY HOSTEL
On December 3rd, the Dutch hostel chain ‘Stayokay’ opened the doors of their newest hostel development – a combination renovation and new construction set in the woodlands of Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands. The centrepiece of the project is a new multifunctional ‘Main Building’ where the hostel’s café and meeting spaces are located. These spaces are shared with two other recreational facilities that are housed under the same roof. On the first floor, the building facilitates the ‘Natuurpodium’, an education centre focused on the sustainable development of the Brabantse Wal. The building is also home to the ‘Klimbos’, an adventurous climbing route through the impressive trees of the surrounding forest.
‘Personal Architecture’ (P·A), a Dutch architectural firm based in Rotterdam, is responsible for the building’s architectural design. P·A is also responsible for the interior design for the Natuurpodium as well as the design of the surrounding landscape, which was conceived in corporation with ‘Joost Emmerik Buitenruimte’.
P·A worked closely with the Stayokay hostel, the Natuurpodium and the Klimbos to transform their individual requirements into an integrated plan for a multifunctional and sustainable bundling. P·A lead the organizations in an optimistic, creative and persistent process that resulted is a building that is both spacious and space-efficient.
By creating spaces that cater to multiple uses, an incredible 25% of the original floor plan could be eliminated. This reduced the building’s environmental footprint and enabled the addition of several features that make the building a great meeting space for hostel guests and local visitors alike. The integration of functions decreased construction and exploitation costs and continues to foster a strong synergy between the organisations and their visitors.
The building consists of two 400 m2 stories, both with square floorplans. By shifting the upper story with respect to the ground floor, an expressive composition is created. The shift creates covered terraces on the ground floor where café patrons can comfortably sit outside year-round. The shift also creates space for a footpath through an outdoor roof garden on the first floor. Inside, the nature of the Brabantse Wal is literally brought into the building. Story-high facades provide spectacular views of the surrounding forests and a patio garden at the centre of the first floor forms the “green heart”, giving visitors a close-up of the local ecology.