Set in the tranquil woodlands of Soest, in the Dutch province of Utrecht, this hostel and hospitality complex was comprised of ad hoc additions which lacked a clear visual order. To draw out the inherent aesthetic qualities of the historic buildings and establish a clear cohesion between the functions of the complex, P·A's strategy included both demolition of underfunctioning buildings, and the subtle introduction of a new form.

The historic buildings have been fully restored, and their connection to each other enhanced through the insertion of a new build element with wood finishing that gently contrasts with the brick of the historic forms, to blend with the surrounding woods. With its L-shaped form, a courtyard is carved in the interior of the complex, providing additional space for visitors to gather. It also accommodates additional spaces for overnight guests, and hospitality services.

With this reorganization, spatial efficiency is enhanced: common areas are clustered and spaces designated for different target groups, making the complex easier to manage and maintain. The hostel compex is vibrant and convivial at both peak and shoulder seasons.

 
 
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Michiel van Veelen

guest of the Stayokay, director Outdoor Medicine

"We have been using this location as a training facility for years, everything is possible here, we have even done exercises on the sand drift around the corner with the 4x4 ambulances of the airmobile brigade! The complex lends itself perfectly for the different needs of our groups: theory lessons in the meeting rooms, scenario training in the open air, practicing to make fire and a drink at the campfire at the end of the day. It is remarkable to experience how this complex contributes to the success of the course."

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Anne breemer

manager at Stayokay Soest

"To this day we continue to receive compliments from guests and business partners. In particular, they comment on the on the surprisingly spacious layout, the delightful open courtyard and the harmony between the original and new built structures."

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Maarten Polkamp

architect en project management P·A

"Looking back, it is courageous of Stayokay that they went along in our vision of the assignment, which was quite different from their own ideas: instead of renovating, we proposed to demolish a large part of the complex! I enjoy the moments most that I visit the hostel unannounced, and then see a variety of guests crisscrossing, a football team, a group of musicians, an older couple and a group of colleagues on a day out. Then you feel that we have made a robust building where everything is possible and everyone feels at home."

front view with main entrance building and modern additions

front view with main entrance building and modern additions

inner courtyard with fern garden and oak tree

inner courtyard with fern garden and oak tree

renovated Douglas-clad guestrooms looking onto forest

renovated Douglas-clad guestrooms looking onto forest

interior of main entrance building with bar and mezzanine

interior of main entrance building with bar and mezzanine

view on mezzanine

view on mezzanine

view from mezzanine showing void, office and meeting room

view from mezzanine showing void, office and meeting room

oak tree surrounded by a pergola with sunscreens offering a filtered view on the surrounding forest

oak tree surrounded by a pergola with sunscreens offering a filtered view on the surrounding forest

elevated terrace connecting all building parts

elevated terrace connecting all building parts

the restaurant connecting two original buildings

the restaurant connecting two original buildings

dark slits in Douglas cladding show individual guestrooms

dark slits in Douglas cladding show individual guestrooms

grass areas make great picknick spots

grass areas make great picknick spots

 
ground floor plan

ground floor plan

first floor plan

first floor plan

 

client
Stayokay / NJHC Beheer

address
Bosstraat, Soest, The Netherlands

completed
2012

collaborations
Studio Edward van Vliet, EMMERIK garden design and research

advisors
IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs, Deerns

role P·A
architect, interior architect (collaboration SEVV), landscape architect (collaboration EMMERIK) and building management

project photos
René de Wit