The Circus Hostel


First prize for the competition of the interior design of the rooms of The Circus Hostel in Berlin. Realisation starting soon.

The concept of the proposal was to bring together the urban atmosphere with that of the circus. Curtains, hanging lights, as well as minimalist furniture in black and white come together to create a cool yet cozy vibe for the rooms of The Circus Hostel in Berlin. The colors become from the existing color palette used in the hallways of the hostel.


Who influences you graphically?

Most of the time, when starting to learn how to render, you try to get to do realistic visualisations. After that you start to try to find your own character and graphic style. In that aspect we tried to bring together the realism of the perspective rendering style and the materiality and personal communication style of the collage. There were no certain visualisers as references, our research was broad and the result came out of this process, we never knew what exactly to expect. For sure, kooZA/rch was one of the sites that offered many great visual references, especially in the collage style.

In working in different cities, how did you collaborate on the development of the project and the production of images?

It is really interesting, that when you get used to it, working from different cities is not as difficult as it sounds. We are people that love collaborations, so solving this problem is important to all of us. It is always important to get affiliated with working cloud based, being able to communicate your ideas through video calls and to organize tasks. In this last part it is important, that each one is busy with his own part of the project, but also there is team feedback for each part and switching parts for fusing more ideas in each level of a project.

What defined the language of representation of the project?

The language of representation for this project was an attempt to combine the realistic rendering style with the aesthetics and the atmosphere of collage work. Since it was a competition for a project that was going to be realized, the ideas had to be easily understood and at the same time we wanted to include the circus vibe and a more atmospheric ambience to the images.

How do you see these digital collages transforming into built form?

Since the images are combining the realistic style with the collage style, there is not suck a huge difference between image and built form. Still, the abstraction of these visual styles means that there should be more caution and more research on the details when bringing an idea to life.

What are your main objectives for this hostel?

While working on the competition for the renovation of The Circus Hostel we wanted to bring together a contemporary minimalist approach to design and the atmosphere of a circus. We got inspired by the existing color concept of the hostel, as well as the forms, the curtains the hanging elements of the tents of the circuses and brought these images together with black and white, geometrical furniture and objects. This way we created an atmosphere that is cool and cozy, urban and dreamy at the same time.

What are your next steps?

The next step is the realization of the first sample rooms for the Circus Hostel. It is a new experience to do your own project without the safety of working for an office, but it is also a very motivating and intriguing process.I have had the luck to meet really positive people for the different parts of the construction in Berlin and I think its going to be a really interesting process! We will try to pay a lot of attention to the quality of the details and also to create when possible custom furniture for the hostel rooms. At the same time, we are taking part in more competitions, on various scales, from landscape to interior, trying to be actively multidisciplinary.

To what extent will the drawing continue to play a pivotal role in the development and communication of the project through construction?

Even in more advanced phases of a project, the style and atmosphere of the images we have to present are important to us. So, as far as there is space for the creation of images, we try to keep the quality and communication style similar.


Kostis Benning is half Greek and half German, born in 1989 in Athens, Greece he now lives in Berlin. He studied Architecture in the National Technical University of Athens and the Technical University of Berlin. After his studies he worked for ALAS

Architects in Berlin and after that he started working as a freelancer on his own projects.

Yannis Mantzaris is a Product & Industrial Designer, living in Athens. He is currently working for Enlite Vision & KK Jewelry Lab.

Lara Vartziotis, is also half Greek and half German and has recently moved to London to study at the Design Research Lab of the Architectural Association. At the same time she does her PhD at the National Technical University of Athens. Before moving to London, she worked as an Architect in Berlin and did her bachelor and masters in Architecture in the Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe.

Orestis Gouvas holds a double degree in Architecture and Lighting Design. After living for 4 years in Munich and Copenhagen he recently moved to London, currently working for Speirs + Major.