A Social Hostel with a ColourfulPast
With the help of designers Nele Van Damme and Yannick Baeyens, the Backstay Hostel in Ghent, Belgium, is hoping to change the perception of hostels. Initially opening in 2014, the hostel took over an old building that was first used as the editorial office of the newspaper, Vooruit, and then a cultural centre named Backstage. With a rich design history, the building is now protected as an Art Deco monument. Brunfaut architects designed the frosted glass front, and the Art Deco theme runs from here through to the lobby. The entire area is painted a vibrant sunshine yellow, drawing guests inside with its eye-catching appearance. The hostel is located right in the middle of the local university, close to an art centre and mere minutes away from the historic city centre. With over 15 rooms and 108 beds, it is one of the largest hostels in the Ghent region. In memory of the building’s editorial past, the ground floor bar is decorated with hundreds of old typesetting letters. To welcome guests from around the world, colourful globes hang from the ceiling. Incorporating both historical and on-trend aspects, the hostel works hard to be seen as a fun, easy going space that still embraces its rich historical and cultural past, making it a hotspot in what is undoubtedly a vibrant city. For those who wish to have some privacy, the hostel offers single rooms as well. Every floor has been assigned a different colour, which is illustrated by soft lighting that filters into each of the sleeping areas through opaque windows. As well as stacks of bunk beds, the rooms are filled with fun features such as colourful album covers and Lego banners that cover the walls. There is even a blogging room that encourages creative minds to sit and write during their stay.