Created to welcome and mix students and smart worker, travelers and local residents, The Student Hotel Bologna offers a hybrid form of hospitality, as well as a central point of connection in the Bolognina district. An inclusive, communitarian ‘home away from home’

The hospitality scenario is changing: an evolution that is (also) a result of the pandemic. New models of reference for travelers are emerging, requiring habitat solutions – and workspaces – that are welcoming and stimulating, flexible and multifunctional, technological and sustainable, increasingly personalized and interconnected with the context in which they exist.

A hybrid concept for new travelers

So we are seeing a return to sharing, obviously in compliance with health and safety protocols. The Dutch group TSH responds with its signature hybrid and experiential concept – housing for students, hotel, events areas and co-working spaces in a single site, mixing tourists and young people from around the world with the neighborhood – also in Bologna, after the opening of Florence Lavagnini in 2018. And the company is continuing to invest in Italy.

A center of hospitality, an urban attraction

Located at Bolognina – a district of urban, social, creative and (multi)cultural ferment, near the historical center – The Student Hotel Bologna is ready to become a center of hospitality, an urban attraction, bringing together people from a wide range of different life experiences; all contaminating the earmark design of TSH with key factors of local identity. The choice of a large brutalist building constructed towards the end of the 1980 at Via Fioravanti 27 was a crucial choice of Charlie MacGregor, founder and CEO of The Student Hotel: no other property so aptly combined the inclusive spirit of Bolognina with the communitarian values of TSH.

From a brutalist structure to a hub of aggregation

A symbolic gathering point, the courtyard of the former industrial structure has been entirely conserved and transformed in the heart of the social activity of TSH Bologna: it now hosts a swimming pool and a restaurant zone with tables, and areas for working or studying outdoors. “We wanted to conserve the original industrial volume, regenerating it and shaping the internal spaces,” says Matteo Fantoni, founder of Matteo Fantoni Studio, in charge of the architectural design.

Urban regeneration in an underground style

“The abandoned building has been transformed into a vehicle of regeneration in a part of the city of Bologna, with an eye on environmental sustainability, contextualization and inclusion,” adds Francesco Conserva of Open Project, behind the definitive project, the implementation and the supervision of the worksite. To express the spirit of profound renewal TSH is already bringing to Bolognina, the focus has been on a style inspired by the lively character of the city’s cultural underground. The architects have eliminated all the superfluous things, freeing up spaces that can then be filled with the objects and furnishings typical of the TSH style, while conserving the ‘brutalist’ features like beams and fair-face concrete.

Spaces created for a mix of guests

The results are flexible spaces to use (and experience) for daytime activities – café, restaurant, auditorium, gym, study and work zones – and night life, including parties and DJ sets. Every element of architecture and interior design has been created to match the various personalities of TSH Bologna’s guests: a mixture of students, Italian and international tourists, local residents, coworkers and startuppers. A generation in motion, creative, open and tolerant, in search of comfortable, fluid and versatile spaces.

An urban magnet

“For the interior design, we have complied with the TSH style, contextualizing it with the urban mood,” says Giovanni Franceschelli of Rizoma Architetture. “A perfect blend of styles for Bologna, which will contribute to make TSH an urban magnet, a place of identity in a city that has been going through a process of internationalization for years”.

TSH focuses on Italy

“With the opening of the new facility in Bologna, in spite of the doldrums in the hospitality market in these uncertain times, TSH confirms its investment of 425 million euros in Italy. The two already functioning units will be joined by three others, including Turin, Rome and Florence Belfiore.

A home away from home

“After the base in Holland, Italy is the second country in Europe where the group has launched a strong program of expansion,” says Charlie MacGregor. “We are planning to open other units in Italy – for a total of seven new structures in various European cities – by 2024. This means a total of 12,500 rooms on over 550,000 square meters in 25 cities. This is how we intend to change the hospitality industry, offering new cosmopolitan generations a home away from home”.