How do young people want to live? How do they spend their free time? What are their passions? What is their day like? - these and many other questions were asked by the designers of the MIXD studio while working on the design of the common spaces of the private student dormitory, Student Depot Gdańsk. Using a design methodology typical of hotels, focused on user experience, they created a friendly place to live for students.
Although fashion and music change, young people, regardless of the generation they belong to, want to gain new experiences, spend time with their colleagues and friends in an interesting way, have fun. The space in which they live should therefore be inspiring, full of life and attractive. Student Depot Gdańsk meets all the conditions to become such a lively center of student life: located close to the university, and at the same time close to the beach, providing accommodation to almost 400 students, and at the same time providing them with privacy in single or double rooms with kitchenettes and high-speed internet connections.
A meeting place
Already crossing the threshold of the dormitory, we fall into the very centre of events. The lobby is a meeting zone: you can stop here for a moment on the way from the university to your room, chat with friends, see who is playing a match, be invited to a party or to a game of your favourite game. The plan for the rest of the day or evening would work out by itself! “We treated this interior like a modern hotel lobby, which is usually multifunctional, designed to meet all the needs and activities of both residents and their guests. We analyzed various activities and thought about how to arrange the space to suit them. This place, both in terms of the functional layout and the design of experience, is an "introduction" to further activities: learning, work, entertainment, "says Piotr Kalinowski, CEO and creative director of MIXD. Numerous conversation corners arranged with light armchairs and pouffes, tables made of plastic beverage crates - spontaneous rearrangement is no problem. The eclectic, colourful equipment perfectly harmonizes with the wall graphics created in cooperation with the Kolektyf studio. The space is also enlivened by numerous potted flowers. The regular lattice pattern appears repeatedly in the entrance area and the lobby, which appears across all common spaces.
"Student Depot is a brand addressed to students: positive, friendly, ecological - our bold, unique approach to colour in these interiors perfectly reflects this." - emphasizes Piotr Kalinowski. In the lobby there is also an auditorium with a huge screen, perfect for watching matches, sports broadcasts, concerts or playing computer game tournaments. "This is to act like a screen in your favourite bar - some can focus on cheering, others join for a while, still others - sneak past and start other activities." The lobby connects seamlessly with the spacious canteen, adapted to meetings and shared meals - everyone can see what is happening there and join if they want to. “Young people don't need much to have fun among themselves. The opportunity to meet is important, because even a visit to the shared laundry room can be an opportunity to chat and spend time together. The canteen is a place where it can be done even in large numbers, using the kitchen facilities, and at the same time not disturbing others. " It is also worth emphasizing that the residents enthusiastically accepted the possibility of segregating rubbish in the dormitory and eagerly use it.
I am going to play a game
An important place for the residents of Student Depot Gdańsk is the gaming room. “Many people do not realize how popular games are among young people - both computer and offline. It is thanks to games that they meet friends, gain new experiences, relax, compete, and learn. It is an essential part of their world. Therefore, our project could not miss a room for gamers. They have tables, a console game stand - there are even seats for fans. " The atmosphere, similarly to the lobby, is quite informal here, conducive to meetings in a smaller or larger group. It sits on soft pouffes and platforms. Boxes replace shelves. Colourful chairs were placed at the tables. There is no place for boredom here.
Sports Champions Ball
The second element without which many young people cannot imagine their daily schedule is sport, physical activity. “This is our lifestyle more and more often - not only in the generation of Student Depot residents. A visit to the gym, participation in fitness classes, meeting with a trainer, running, cycling, yoga session - we put these into our electronic schedules. Physical activity is cool, it is taking care of yourself, it is an investment in the future. The sporty style of dress displaces formal clothes, because it is comfortable, universal, it works well in urban conditions, when we constantly move from one place to another, we move from one activity to another "- describes the design concept Piotr Kalinowski.
The Student Depot Gdańsk fitness zone has a slightly futuristic, mysterious atmosphere inspired by vaporwave aesthetics: dark colors, unreal space flooded with colorful, neon light, strong stimulation of the senses. It is more like a club or music video plan than a typical gym. "Our inspiration was streetwear fashion brands, combining elements of sports style and the needs of visitors to dance events or festivals, playing for hours in strobe lights."
It goes youth
"Our goal in this project was to create an experience at Student Depot Gdańsk that would be adequate to the lifestyle of young people, their needs and expectations," emphasizes Piotr Kalinowski. “We decomposed this style into prime factors - it was so much easier that the MIXD team are young people who still remember their student years very well: studying, parties, living in dormitories, trips to study abroad. We also used the experience of Student Depot, which is one of the oldest and most dynamically developing brands of private dormitories on the Polish market. We can immodestly say that a place has been created that can meet the high expectations of young people. They accumulate experience faster, travel a lot, have instant access to information thanks to the Internet. They want space to play, to pursue their passions, to meet others. But at the same time they value comfort, privacy and security, they want to lead a healthy lifestyle - in various aspects, combine study with work."
Jolanta Bubel, CEO of Student Depot confirms that the facility was quickly appreciated by students of Gdańsk universities: “The Student Depot dormitory in Gdańsk was very well received by the local and international student community. Despite the pandemic period, the number of places was decreasing very quickly and we already have a significant number of apartments rented for the next academic year. Students appreciate the variety of spaces they can use and the unique design. They are particularly eager to use the gym and coworking space to jointly implement projects or prepare for exams. There is a shortage of such places when someone rents a private apartment - if someone wants to fully benefit from the student life, it is worth choosing a modern dormitory. "