Zero Hostel

Barcelona, Poble Nou, 2021. Cliente: BlackRock


Located on the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with great cultural, commercial, financial and tourist importance, making it one of the most visited European cities and an extremely attractive destination for young travelers. Nowadays Poblenou is presented as a vibrant mix of native life, an industrial past turned into lofts and cultural spaces, and in order to also become an avant-garde artistic epicenter.

What elements do we have to tell a story that justifies the intervention to be carried out and that differs from the rest of the hostels?

It is convenient on the one hand to take into account the sea and its proximity and on the other hand the place and its history, even more so if one takes into account that the building to be intervened is in what the city council considers the historic center of Poblenou.

An ally also comes into play and that is the typological character of the building itself.


What does not only the city or neighborhood have to tell us, but the venue itself?

The construction dates from 1930, although there is not much information about the original use, its typology could give us clues and with some certainty we could say that it was a workshop or warehouse. The building is close to the sea. Not just any sea, the Mediterranean Sea.

So, on the one hand we have the industrial style that is distinguished by open spaces, raw materials and bare structures. Exposed brick and concrete are his fetish materials, this represents the building. On the other hand, we have the Mediterranean style, a more bucolic style with serene and light-filled spaces. The walls are usually white and textured, sometimes contrasted with the bright colors in the windows and the furniture is usually functional and simple in light wood.

This represents the place.


A third Cartesian axis should be everything that in some way represents that point of freshness and nowness focused on young audiences. It is important that it is not too adult oriented and perhaps the sophistication has to be replaced by a more daring touch. 

The main idea is to obtain a relaxed, crafty, and warm atmosphere, a bit like a beach house but without becoming a Venice Beach hut, not forgetting that we are set into an industrial past that is characteristic of the neighborhood and with bold touches that place us in a young spirit site.


A living space inspired by Catalan modernism. What references have we taken?
1.-Industrial interiors in the area since the 1930s, the year the building was built.
2.-Artistic works of tiling and glass of Catalan Modernism.
3.-Urbanization of Barcelona.
4.-Contemporary pixelated architecture in Barcelona.


When it comes to materials, it is as important to take into account this mix of styles as its durability and efficiency, however, another factor that takes a lot of strength today, and more if the sea appears in the discourse, is sustainability. The finishes in some way would have to evoke the craftsmanship and for this the clay.

The mosaics could be especially useful, it is a proximity material, easy to maintain and easily replaceable. For composite materials, we could use birch plywood boards with ecological forest certification and without additives.

We enhance the "grid" effect by applying stained mortar to the tile voids.
In areas where more sound insulation is required, such as hallways, we could use Econyl fiber mats, made from used fishing nets.


Regarding the color scheme, it could be said that a neutral box of whites and earthy tones with iron metallic highlights is created. The color punch could come from some pieces of furniture, tiles, textiles, and graphics applied to the space.

As for the furniture in the rooms, we can observe two trends. One of them tends to consider the bunk beds integrated into the architecture as something fixed and the other trend is to consider the bunk bed as an individual and mobile piece. In either case, it will be important to follow the same language as the rest of the spaces, that is, to use exposed iron and natural fibers and woods.


To continue with the idea of an industrial building, we imagine the coffee-bar as a continuation of the previously explained concept, on the one hand we will maximize the industrial style with raw materials and neutral ceramics, the custom-made furniture is functional and simple in light wood.


How do we create a fresh and cozi space? The finishes evoke craftsmanship and for this the clay in the tile coverings with a raw finish as well as the organic forest birch plywood, certified and without additives.

As for the color, the Mediterranean style full of light applied to striking colors in the furniture.