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Will Speros •
November 8, 2019


Photography by Mikael Lundblad

Icelandic hostel brand KEX has officially arrived in the U.S. with the opening of the KEX Portland in Oregon within a 1912 structure. Conceived by Hálfan (Dáni) Pedersen, founder of the Icelandic design studio Baulhus, its interior design features a juxtaposition of old and new which infuses worldly influences across the sustainable and comfortable ethos of Nordic design.

Spread across more than 3,000 square feet, the new concept houses 152 accommodations, including 14 private and 15 shared rooms. Each unit is adorned with a palette of muted pastel and earth tones along with contemporary furnishings. Private rooms are equipped with queen and king beds attached to headboards made from refurbished fireplace mantels, while custom bunks detailed with privacy curtains populate the shared rooms.

Located on the open ground floor of the property is restaurant Vivian, which is anchored by a central, oval-shaped bar, in addition to a lounge doubling as a flexible performance space. The hostel is conceived with an intimate outdoor courtyard for use during warmer months, while an 850-square-foot event space is housed in the basement level. Additional amenities include a 12-person sauna and communal kitchen as well.

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