An old church in Amsterdam, built in the 1920s, was redesigned as a trendy hotel with transformation. The building is located in the heart of a lively and vibrant neighborhood. The building in this important location; It gives designers the opportunity to create an interesting, attractive urban character. Spatial fiction generally supports collective gatherings and encounters, while compact rooms provide privacy. The interior, defined by existing brick arches, creates a balanced connection with wooden furniture and bold, conflicting colors.
How did you decide to turn the church into a hostel? How did the reactions and the design process proceed?
“Churches used to be communal places where the community would gather. The church was a social epicentre for the neighbourhood. But many churches find themselves empty nowadays in The Netherlands and are for sale. I’ve always had a great love for these structures. We used two existing monuments to convert them into BUNK Hotels. With the wish that they might once again be a social epicentre for travellers and people of the neighbourhood alike.
Of course, converting a church into a hotel while reusing materials and saving and integrating the monumental elements is a process which comes full of surprises. But fun surprises. For instance, we found a secret staircase in the church in Amsterdam which we added to the whole experience. It fits perfect into communal wonderment, which is the base of the concept of BUNK,” says Robin Hagedoorn, BUNK’s founding father.
What was your inspiration for the hostel which is full of productive and creative surprises?
“My inspiration was Burning Man and the full-blown creativity of the visitors of that festival. There is a surprise around every corner which tickles your imagination again and again. We have tried to integrate this wonderment in every little detail of BUNK. Nothing is standard. There is a little gem of marvel in everything,” says Robin Hagedoorn.
Interview: İrem Efe