Following on from its success in Amsterdam, interactive hotel operator, CityHub has recently launched a new hotel in Rotterdam, with interiors designed by Amsterdam-based Studio Modijefsky. The new CityHub is situated on one of the city’s trendiest and best-known streets, Witte de Withstraat, where three existing buildings have been modified to house the 126 futuristic sleeping units. 

For those unfamiliar with it, the CityHub concept is aimed at tech-savvy millennials who love to travel, and fills the gap in the market between hotels and hostels. Standard hotel rooms are replaced with sleeping units known as hubs, each one fitted with a comfortable king-sized bed, WiFi, adjustable mood lighting and Bluetooth music streaming. Using a personalised wristband, travellers can check in independently and serve themselves at the bar.  

It is CityHub Rotterdam’s location and concept that has provided the inspiration for the buildings’ new interior design. Through preserving traces of the old walls and finishes and combining them with a new material palette, the three adjacent buildings have been cleverly merged to allow each to retain their individuality. 

The use of the CityHub colour scheme creates a unique ambiance in each building. The intensity of the colour changes on each floor, using daylight as a guide to ensure contrast. As sunlight moves through the building, the interior colours on each floor take on a lighter hue to create a distinctive, colour palette, descending floor by floor. 

As visitors walk into the hotel lobby, a large white object draws their attention. Forming the digital check-in point, this element turns into a chandelier on the ceiling, splitting into several different light lines that guide guests throughout the entire building. Simple, elegant LED profiles with various shapes attached underneath continue above every corridor and staircase. This unusual, stretched-out linear chandelier acts as a wayfinding sign and connects all the buildings. The light is reflected towards the ceiling or filtered to highlight accents in the interior. 

Signage, inspired by overlay of different materials in the existing buildings, plays a big role in the design. With catchy phrases applied to the walls, the building itself becomes a friendly host, referencing urban surroundings and inviting passersby to step inside and experience the space. Hotel guests are welcome to pour themselves a beer at a wooden self-service bar and meet other hub residents. A mirrored ceiling reflects the benches, work tables and host station, where a CityHost gives directions and insider tips on what to do and see in the city. 

The lower ground floor level is occupied by a hangout seating area – a lively space influenced by the urban surroundings of the Witte de Withstraat. The street style has been brought in to the interior and fused with quirky lighting elements, textures and colour schemes of the nearby buildings. A sea green wall made of lockers seamlessly merges with the interior. 

The interior of the building is heavily layered, using not only various layers of materials, but also custom-made elements. The best example of this approach can be found in bathrooms, where bespoke sinks and wall cabinets partly cover the existing windows. Without blocking the view, a new layer is created over the old structure of the building. 

The colour of the bathroom finishes vary from blue to pink and go against gender stereotypes. The colour schemes represent each of the three buildings they are in and give spaces a fresh and playful identity. Completed with custom sink elements and mirror details, these common spaces are filled with sophisticated personal touches.

Gail Taylor

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