LAVA: Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

LAVA: Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

Sydney, AU | Stuttgart, DE | Berlin, DE



Y is for Gen Y, yardstick and ‘yahoo’!

The letter ‘Y’ is the shape of a new youth hostel in Bayreuth,

Germany, designed by award-winning international architects

LAVA for the Bavarian Youth Hostel Association.

“We are in the designer age when Gen Y travellers want funky design, a

special identity, access to online and community and unique experiences,

not just a clean bed and shower,” says Tobias Wallisser, director of LAVA.

LAVA’s design is a yardstick for the sports hostel of the future through

innovative spatial configurations, sustainability at environmental, and

structural and social levels, and integrated sporting facilities.

“LAVA chose the ‘Y’ shape because it generates a connective and beautiful

central space offering expansive views and multiple openings to the sports

fields and gardens. And a happy coincidence its also the letter ‘Y’!”

The central atrium is a hub for offline and online entertainment,

interaction and communication. Here, a skylight provides natural daylight

to a central amphitheatre that connects the different levels, whilst

horizontal and diagonal sightlines direct guests to different building

functions. Reception, seminar rooms, bistro, kitchen, sports and game

facilities are spread out over two floors and connected to each other via

the multipurpose central atrium.

Alexander Rieck, LAVA director, said: “It’s all about intelligent

organisation, making it easy to find things, connect, socialise, creating a

stage for individual and group activities.”

Director Chris Bosse added: “It may be budget accommodation but this

integrated concept goes beyond the hostel motto ‘experience community’

to ‘experience the unexpected’ – its not like the hostel as we know it!”

Other features include:

• Room walls are highly flexible with contemporary modular ‘built-in

furniture’ elements accommodating washrooms and bed niches.

• Wood, concrete floors and ceilings create an industrial robustness

with brightly coloured yellow infills and strong graphics.

• A whole wheelchair basketball team can stay here! It’s the

prototype of a barrier-free building, with rooms, grounds and sports

fields all wheelchair accessible.

The city of Bayreuth chose the Bavarian Youth Hostel Association and

LAVA’s design for the new 180-bed hostel, following LAVA’s successful

remodelling of the 1930s Berchtesgaden, Germany’s first designer hostel.

Bayreuth caters for active and sports guests. Construction starts in early


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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Bayreuth, DE
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Architects (cost, planning): Wenzel+Wenzel
Structure: Engelsmann Peters, Stuttgart/Graz
Mechanical engineering: IBT PAN, Berlin
Fire and Building Physics: Bauart, München
Landscape: IB Riede, Nürnberg
Kitchen: b.o.b.