YellowSquare Firenze Pierattelli Architetture
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YellowSquare Firenze: the hostel as an experience

A 1930s building used to create a new concept in hospitality, with spaces for socializing and inclusion, and not just for tourists

Pierattelli Architetture

YellowSquare Firenze Pierattelli Architetture
By Editorial Staff -
Marazzi, Ponzio have participated in the project

From Rome to Florence via Milan – after its inauguration 20 years ago in Rome and the more recent opening of its second facility in Milan, YellowSquare has returned with a contemporary approach to hospitality in the form of a hostel conceived as a hub for socializing and exchange that’s open to both tourists and locals.

Located in the heart of Florence, just a stone’s throw from Fortezza da Basso, the hostel is the third accommodation facility operating under the YellowSquare brand. Designed by Florence-based studio Pierattelli Architetture and financed by real estate investors InvestiRE SGR, the project stands out for its dynamic, informal design, with brightly colored, young, and inviting spaces.



Location: Florence, Italy
Completion: 2022
Area: 5.000 m2
Client: InvestiRE SGR
Architect: Pierattelli Architetture

Structures: 3ing - Engineering Group
Interior Design: Andrea Pierattelli, Ernesto di Santo

Ceramic Floor: Marazzi
Doors&Windows: Ponzio

Photography by Iuri Niccolai, courtesy of Pierattelli Architetture

YellowSquare Firenze - Pierattelli Architetture © Iuri Niccolai, courtesy of Pierattelli Architetture


YellowSquare Firenze: a hostel that’s an experience in itself

YellowSquare Firenze draws on the idea of the experiential hostel created by Fabio and Marco Coppola in the early 2000s, to which a team led by Massimo, Andrea, and Claudio Pierattelli gave physical form in the design of a new concept in informal hospitality. The result is an architectural narrative that’s both form and substance, space and message, and that responds to new ways of living, traveling, and socializing. As society and its needs change, the spaces within private, public, and accommodation facilities are also changing. The whole concept of accommodation is taking on new meanings.

This hostel occupies a renovated rationalist complex from the 1930s, which includes 5000 m2 of floorspace in two buildings. The structure has 250 beds in dormitories, which sleep four to eight, and 12 private rooms.

The common thread of the entire project developed under the YellowSquare brand is the value of sharing, which runs through and unites the design of the bar, restaurant, shared kitchen, and other common areas. All spaces are designed to encourage exchange and socializing. YellowSquare Firenze is a multifunctional and inclusive structure that focuses on encouraging interaction through a host of activities, ranging from cooking lessons to sunset yoga classes. The jewel in the crown is the swimming pool and sundeck on the top floor that overlooks the city.

YellowSquare Firenze - Pierattelli Architetture © Iuri Niccolai, courtesy of Pierattelli Architetture


Architecture that looks to the future

Built in 1935, the complex was originally a dispensary for tuberculosis patients in the province. In the 1980s, it was the head office of the local health authority. It was auctioned in 2005, after which it was abandoned.

Pierattelli Architetture’s reuse project involved both buildings, the first with six levels and the second comprising a single aboveground floor. The main, typically rationalist, structural elements were retained, while the organization of the internal spaces was updated. Although the project called for a series of modernizations, all of them were done with respect for the buildings’ identity and context, and have therefore preserved their historical value and original characteristics.

YellowSquare Firenze - Pierattelli Architetture © Iuri Niccolai, courtesy of Pierattelli Architetture

Travertine has been used to finish the entrance, stairs, and large skirtings. It also frames the large openings in the façade. The essential elegance of the structure is accentuated by the almost monolithic character of the exteriors and the large ivory-white entrance, which is accessed via a large staircase. From here, you arrive in the lobby, where a refreshment area and the bar/restaurant with kitchen are located.

The ground-level floor also has rooms, the guest kitchen, another kitchen for cooking courses, and utility rooms. A club area is located in the basement, together with a garage, equipment rooms, and storage and service spaces. Rooms with private bathrooms are on the second and third floors. After the elimination of the pitched roof, the attic level is now an open space with a panoramic swimming pool and sundeck.

Bright tones of yellow and orange, cooler ones of green and blue, are the true stars of the design, while acoustical insulating fiber on the ceilings crates an enveloping texture in the passageways. Geometrical and colorful designs on the walls and floors form the backdrop to the hostel’s playful, young, and open interiors.


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