A newly opened youth hostel in Bayreuth, Germany offers much more than just a clean bed and shower—the 180-bed Y-shaped building embraces community, holistic sustainability, and a passion for sports. Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) designed the hostel as an extension of the landscape with natural materials and a curvaceous form that’s organic and contemporary.



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Laboratory for Visionary Architecture youth hostel, youth hostel Bayreuth, Y-shaped architecture, modular wooden wall system, modular custom built-in furniture, contemporary youth hostel, LAVA youth hostel, Bayreuth youth hostel by LAVA, sports youth hostel in Germany

Commissioned by DJH Bayern, the eye-catching youth hostel takes on a distinctive Y shape chosen “because it cleverly generates a connective central space and interweaves the interior and exterior spaces, offering expansive views and multiple accessible openings to the sports fields and gardens.” Sports are a major focus of the design and the hostel is equipped with sports fields, adventure playgrounds and volleyball terraces. The building’s universal design makes it accessible to all kinds of users for optimum use of the facility.

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Laboratory for Visionary Architecture youth hostel, youth hostel Bayreuth, Y-shaped architecture, modular wooden wall system, modular custom built-in furniture, contemporary youth hostel, LAVA youth hostel, Bayreuth youth hostel by LAVA, sports youth hostel in Germany

Related: Nha Trang’s first hostel built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Vietnam

A central atrium at the heart of the hostel serves as the social hub with a light-filled amphitheater that branches out to the reception, seminar rooms, bistro, kitchen, sport facilities, and bedrooms spread out across two floors. Natural, locally sourced materials are used throughout and were built with local techniques. Renewable energy powers the hostel and pollution reduction is integrated in the design.

Laboratory for Visionary Architecture youth hostel, youth hostel Bayreuth, Y-shaped architecture, modular wooden wall system, modular custom built-in furniture, contemporary youth hostel, LAVA youth hostel, Bayreuth youth hostel by LAVA, sports youth hostel in Germany

Laboratory for Visionary Architecture youth hostel, youth hostel Bayreuth, Y-shaped architecture, modular wooden wall system, modular custom built-in furniture, contemporary youth hostel, LAVA youth hostel, Bayreuth youth hostel by LAVA, sports youth hostel in Germany

A highly flexible modular wooden wall system with modular custom built-in furniture was used for the hostel’s 45 rooms. The use of modular, replaceable walls also allows for future reuse of the building as a kindergarten, school or retirement home.

+ Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

Images by HÑfele Huber

Laboratory for Visionary Architecture youth hostel, youth hostel Bayreuth, Y-shaped architecture, modular wooden wall system, modular custom built-in furniture, contemporary youth hostel, LAVA youth hostel, Bayreuth youth hostel by LAVA, sports youth hostel in Germany

Laboratory for Visionary Architecture youth hostel, youth hostel Bayreuth, Y-shaped architecture, modular wooden wall system, modular custom built-in furniture, contemporary youth hostel, LAVA youth hostel, Bayreuth youth hostel by LAVA, sports youth hostel in Germany