Name: The Student Hotel (“TSH”) Florence
Location: Florence, Italy
A micro- city for local and global talent
TSH Florence is a €50 million privately- funded reimagination of a 21,353 sqm historic palazzo into an urban campus. The project has transformed a vacant office which had become known as the Palazzo del Sonno (Sleepy Palace), into what Florence’s Mayor now refers to as the Palazzo del Sogno (The Dream Palace). It is breathing new life into a previously underserved area of the city centre, at a main intersection of Florence’s new tramway. The building, constructed in 1864 for diplomatic purposes and most recently used as offices, is now an urban campus with a 390- room hybrid hotel (blending short and long- stay accommodation) and a multitude of facilities including restaurants, co- working facilities, auditorium and classrooms together with concept stores, an in- house gym and a rooftop pool with sky bar.
One of 14 hotels across Europe (as of April 2020), The Student Hotel Florence caters to a new generation of students, entrepreneurs and travellers. Its community- driven design is a mixed- use space that’s open to the public and which Vanity Fair has described as the “hotel of the future”. This cultural hub has revitalised a heritage building, bringing creativity to an underserved area of the city and creating a place where locals and visitors mingle. The project is best summed up by Florence’s Mayor, Dario Nardella: “We inaugurated the first ‘Student Hotel’ in Florence in 2018 because we saw the opportunity this presented to bring life back to an historic building in the city centre through their innovative mixed- use model.”
Nowhere else in Italy has this approach of harnessing the strong growth in the student market to drive a major urban regeneration project been tried before. The Student Hotel business ambitions and the City of Florence are closely aligned and this is revitalising rundown areas and making the city a magnet for visitors and students from all over the world. This is why the partnership between us has been so successful. We are also seeing the same regeneration catalyst working in the TSH Belfiore development in Florence, which is transforming the wasteland of a former Fiat factory into a lively hub of leisure and retail services for the local community in the district and also creating much needed jobs. Belfiore was previously the city’s real ‘Black Hole’. We intend to repeat the winning formula for the third time with The Student Hotel in the Manifattura Tabacchi project, which is in an area slowly regaining a new identity and functions. All of these projects represent vital investment in the development of key parts of the urban landscapes of Florence, while respecting and preserving the historical context of the properties and keeping their ‘souls’ intact.
Developer: The Student Hotel
Owner: The Student Hotel
Architect: Archea Associati