From a young age, I have always been creative and I knew I wanted a career that channelled my inner talent. I am motivated by creating memorable experiences, lasting impressions, and fostering a connection between people and the built environment. Interior design is a career that allows for the marriage of creativity and functionality to coexist, and as a new designer, I look forward to pushing my creative boundaries and learning new ways of curating functional and meaningful spaces.
According to research, the next up and coming travel generation is Millennials and hoteliers need to alter the traditional hotel model and implement one that caters to Millennials’ needs and wants. The Y Hotel is a boutique hotel geared towards the Millennial generation and connects users to the city of Toronto while also providing access to technology throughout the space. The hotel is located in the hip Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville, which is known for being a hotspot for young people.
Rationale and Design Narrative
The hotel’s main goal is to connect users to the local culture of Toronto while also connecting users to technology. However, much like technology, people need areas within a larger space to “recharge” from the elements around them that can be overstimulating. Users within a space need areas to disconnect either mentally, physically or both. Spaces occupy many different types of users and “disconnecting” is different for everyone. Some prefer to engage in a friendly conversation with another person, and some wish to quietly read a book. A way of fostering this into the built environment is to create a variety of zones where people can either engage in social interaction, or in solitude. This was achieved by creating escape areas through curvilinear design elements that promote tranquillity and by also creating designated areas where people can detach either on their own or with friends.
Design Connection to Research
Research suggests that the next up and coming travel generation is Millennials, who are people aged between 1980 and early 2000s (Pentescu, 2016). The goal of my thesis is to provide a hotel that connects them to the city of Toronto while also including an abundance of technology in the space, which is important to this generation and was revealed through research. The local culture will be integrated within the hotel by using local materials whenever possible, locals are also invited to dine in the hotel’s restaurant, a “navigator” employed by the hotel will recommend tourists attractions to guests based on their preferences, and the event space located in the hotel can also be rented out to locals. Technology is integrated within the hotel through the use of the hotel's app. The app allows guests to check-in and out, use the virtual key to access their guestrooms, adjust their room settings such as lighting, TV, temperature, etc, guests can also order room service through the app and share their experience of the hotel through the “YBLOG”.
Character of Space
The boutique hotel consists of three levels. The main level houses a restaurant, a coffee bar and guest lounge areas. The second floor consists of 10 guestrooms which range from an accessible suite, queen size bed suites and 2 single bed suites. The lower level houses the event space that can be rented out by hotel guests or locals. The interior materials and finishes complement the historical exterior of the building that has remained untouched. The interior finishes include the original concrete floors, soft pale woods, touches of brass and terrazzo and marble stones. Overall, the hotel generates a casual and contemporary ambience where Millennials can feel comfortable and not overwhelmed.