Generator London is the first, and perhaps the best, of the chain’s eight European hostels, and to keep the flagship venue fresh, it’s just had an £8million facelift. The bandages have now been removed to reveal a strong London look; the city is at the centre of the new interiors by designer Anwar Mekhayech and partner ORBIT Architects. A bearskin hat with a soldier hidden underneath directs guests through the lobby. The moddish RAF insignia is emblazoned proudly on the photobooth. Someone has crashed a double decker bus through one of the walls.
The building, which opened as Generator London in 1996, used to be a police section house – accommodation for the local constabulary on the Bloomsbury beat. London’s industrial past and its vibrant cosmopolitan present have been combined in its modern incarnation, and contemporary artists and designers are everywhere you look. There’s furniture by Moooi, Moroso and Tom Dixon, bespoke graphics by Shoreditch art collective Acrylicize, a customised piano from Good Wives and Warriors, and a hand-drawn map of London from Jenni Sparks. Makes you proud to be British.