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First Prize

Priyank Mehta,
Salaath Anam,

Where The Bohemian Ponders

Dissolving the walls that separate, going beyond colours that distinguish, and distorting shapes that define, lies a paradise for the free spirit. A nest for the Bohemian.

Evolved from the designs inspired by and for art, manifests a design that dares to emulate art itself. A design that exudes freedom and tears down all masks, reflecting the poignant yet illimitable colourful nature of the artist. The design metaphorically compares the outer shell that encompasses the habitable volume to the society we live in and the non-platonic protruding shapes within it to the bohemians, the artists, the misfits, the ones that provide identity to the space and are trying to break out.

The arched brick facade, inspired by the neighbouring Kunsthaus Tacheles represents the institutional values of the site and is an integral part of the structure. It acts as a gateway to be used freely by the public and to exhibit local art. While the facade connects the built form to the street and the surroundings, the glass membrane showcases the playful, artistic, literary and spiritual pursuits within. It portrays the nature of the bohemians through various shapes bursting with colours portraying their lively  personalities. These shapes form usable furniture modules, storage units and sliding shading screens. The extruded playful volumes being a scaled up version of the introduced shapes almost break out of structure and embody a kind of resistance to rigidity. These volumes transverse and connect the space vertically on multiple levels and partially connect with the exterior environment; thus, encouraging social interaction and creative collaboration in the company of like-minded people. While these volumes only provide access to the hostel residents, the lower level that connects the interior spaces with the outer environment provide unrestricted access to all.

No rooms, no walls, no boundaries permit the user to shape their own environment through means of transformable bed modules. All the sleeping modules contract to open up a wider space in front of it and therefore renders the hostel a kind of impermanence allowing the hostel residents to fashion the ambience they need. Playful undulated floor plates make the space dynamic promoting an unconventional and an alternate lifestyle. The screens acting as shields from the sun, also serve the purpose of privacy and can be moved in multiple permutations to form a different facade every time. The habitable installations outside the building can be moved to any desired location spilling the nature of the said playful shapes out of the structure. All walls internal and external are available for art and painting and the with no rooms one is free to choose a different bed every night.

A home so versatile, abstract, boundless, colourful, and most importantly transparent – akin to the nature of art itself gives more impetus to communal living. Creating an unconventional hostel experience,  in the heartland of the stone and concrete of Berlin is an abode where the Bohemians ponder.