In September 2014, Different Hotel Group had plans to add a different type of accommodation to their portfolio. A ‘luxury on a budget’ hotel, that would attract mainly young couples who want to spend a weekend in the city or business travellers looking for a different experience outside the regular business hotel chains. They wanted to call it ‘YUP’, and that was that. Everything else needed to be designed.
YUP, short for Young Urban Professional, represents a subculture of bold, successful, materialistic individuals that lead a decadent lifestyle in the eighties. Yups were not afraid to show off their success and wealth in a rather blatant way.
The ‘Yuppie Handbook’ was written (also in the eighties) as a sarcastic manual on how, as a ‘normal’ individual, you could become part of this elite. It gives a step-by-step walkthrough of how to dress, act, walk, talk, live and breathe like a Yup. The book paints a sarcastic picture of the Yuppie lifestyle, which is all about greed and superficiality.
The irony and sarcasm of the ‘Yuppie Handbook’ became the foundation for our brand concept. Under the name YUP we created a place that looks fancy and posh, but in reality it is not much more than a superficial layer of golden varnish... Where greed is good and more is more.
Besides the hotel’s interior we also created a logo, visual language and tone of voice. Just like in the interior irony opposing the YUP state of mind was our starting point. Throughout the hotel and on the website we promote the Yuppie lifestyle, being it by quotes or images. The visual language has some eighties -the yuppie era- influences without copying or interpreting them literally.
The location where the first Yup was built was a former Ibis Hotel. The infrastructure of hotel layout and MEP was there, but the rooms were small. Very small. Only 12 m² including bathroom. It soon became clear that a traditional guestroom layout could never work here.
The bed and the accompanying smart-tv became the focal points of the room. Disproportionaly big, they fit the Yup ‘Greed is good’ and ‘More is more’ lifestyle. By placing the bed and tv inside a box, we defined the whole layout of the room, with on one side of the bedbox a wardrobe and desk area and on the other side the bathroom area.
Our palette of materials was chosen to fit the YUP brand. Superficial, overdone, fake. Glossy gold laminates, imitation marble tiles, sepia-toned mirrors and plastic crystal cups.
The YUP building dates from the eighties and the way we found it, its architecture was not really appealing nor in line with the brand image we wanted to create. Therefore, we painted the entire building black. It is a real statement to all passers-by, making a clean break with the building’s former Ibis identity. The YUP became a brand new reference point in Hasselt.