Co-co-co is not the name of the latest official Italian employment contract, it is an abbreviation for a new global lifestyle, Coworking, Coliving, Community. The Student Hotel (TSH) is the world’s largest fully-connected community. Thanks to the far-sightedness of its Scottish founder Charlie MacGregor, TSH started running its first spaces for students in Amsterdam in 2006, offering a new vision of conviviality. These fluid, hybrid places offer
barely-sketched borders, something that makes them highly inclusive. Thanks to this updated concept of habitability, The Student Hotel is a start-up that has updated the script of student life by making it accessible to travelers, digital professionals, creative nomads and entrepreneurial spirits. The first Italian facility, a meeting place for young university students who can stay for up to two years, and for tourists, researchers and modern globetrotters who want to stay for a period ranging from two nights to 12 months, opened in Florence in 2018. The Rizoma Architetture team, for which social and shared living is an essential part of its design ethos, has followed the project since its early stages.
To offer the high levels of hospitality and ease of use required by the brand, the designers at Rizoma picked the former Sleep Palace, a few minutes from Santa Maria Novella station, as the ideal place to create the next hotel. Offering 390 rooms, 57% of which are reserved for students, TSH Florence is aimed at a young, cosmopolitan, and globalized crowd, one that is always on the move. The interior design expresses an appealing and youthful character, without eschewing a wide range of
high-level amenities like conference rooms, auditoriums, restaurants and cafeterias, an outdoor swimming pool, gym, inner courtyard and rooftop bar.
What distinguishes this new frontier in the hotel experience are its common spaces. The purpose behind every single design choice was to persuade guests to spend as little time as possible in their rooms, to throw themselves whole-heartedly into the sociality of the structure by taking advantage of spaces dedicated to study, sport, work, leisure and culture. Bearing this in mind, the common kitchens, music room, swimming pool and auditorium were designed to bring together clients of different nationalities.
Pursuing the explicit desire to evoke the finest spirit of university life, TSH offers an informal and entertaining place to stay, in contact with people from all over the world who are looking for opportunities to get to know one another and make themselves known, creating networking opportunities which, recently, led to the creation of a worldwide “made in TSH” guest network. This wind of freedom, creativity and sharing influenced the Rizoma Architetture practice’s interior design of all six floors of the hotel and beyond. Owing to its flexible nature, the accommodation is one of Europe’s most attractive creativity hubs. Indeed, a large space is being set aside inside for Collab, a structure open to the public dedicated to coworking and equipped with all mod cons. An internal courtyard configured as a square open to the city’s inhabitants provides an ideal venue for staging entertainment events.
Through the TSH project in Florence, Rizoma Architetture has transposed and translated the concept of a liquid and digital society into a design that can adapt to all types of guests and their creativity.
Location: Florence, Italy
Client: The Student Hotel
Completion Date: 2018
Building Area: 23,000 m2
Architect: Archea Associati
Interior Design: Rizoma Architetture (Giovanni Franceschelli, Lorenzo Antonelli, Camilla Gorlandi, Letizia Perrone), The Student Hotel (Naomi Thellier de Poncheville)
Main Contractor: Inso
Services Engineering Consultant: ESA engineering
Porcelain Stoneware: Marazzi
Photography by Sal Marston Photography, courtesy of Rizoma Architetture
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