JO&JOE Paris Gentilly

JO&JOE Paris Gentilly

Avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, Gentilly, France | View Map
Project Year


Tom Donald

JO&JOE Paris Gentilly

PENSON as Interior Architects

JO&JOE Paris Gentilly is the second JO&JOE open house from PENSON’s portfolio and is the world’s first BBCA low-carbon hotel. It is a place that brings genuine experiences to its guests – so much so – the hotel was fully booked on its first opening month in April 2019. 


PENSON created the seven-floor, 485-bed hotel as a hybrid – it meets somewhere between an open house, a hotel, and a hostel. This model is unlike anything the sector has seen to date. 


In September 2020, JO&JOE Paris Gentilly was awarded the Best Hotel & Tourism Resort at the 2020 MIPIM Awards - specifically for its Open House design and Street Art concept by PENSON.


The JO&JOE brand was co-created by PENSON and Accor Group in 2016 to disrupt the economy hospitality model. PENSON envisioned a physical and branded experience for JO&JOE to offer a fresh take on the interior design, atmosphere, dining, service, and customer experience.


JO&JOE Paris Gentilly combines JO&JOE’s unique DNA with hotel-style service, disruptive design, and a humorous and authentic atmosphere. The hotel’s distinctive identity comes from its Open House design and Street Art concept, both envisioned by PENSON.



Being a stone’s throw from Paris’ major attractions and with beds from €25 a night, PENSON sought to create a hub away from the centre of the city. A place where guests and locals could relax, eat hearty food from a seasonal menu, down some serious drinks, meet new people, party, and plan new experiences – all on a budget. 


PENSON worked with Accor Group to select a key area for the hotel outside central Paris. It needed to be a place that would give back to the local community through the promotion of creative talent, employment, co-working spaces and simply somewhere social to meet others. Gentilly was the ideal locale as it had a connection to street art and was lacking in existing bars and public areas.



A street-level entrance leads straight to the action where a restaurant and bar, relaxed lounge, open-mic stage, reception, coworking, and enchanting garden await. 


PENSON wanted people to naturally gather together so created a free flowing and adaptable space. The furniture in the restaurant is designed to be movable and durable, with pieces on wheels, and tables that can be hoisted to the ceiling if the open mic crowd want to dance. 


The bar is entirely circular and accessible all the way around. Not only does this allow for flow and movement in the space but it’s an unmissable feature right in the middle of the ground floor. It also makes lining up drinks and shots an impressive sight!


To ease traffic on the central bar and to add something fun, PENSON had the ingenious idea of installing a self-service beer wall. This, like everywhere else at JO&JOE uses a cashless card system to purchase, so no hunting around for loose change or a credit card you left in your room. The card has multiway access to the lifts, your room, food and drink, and access to other guest areas of the hotel.


Other social areas, namely ‘Happy House’ and the kitchen are reserved for booking guests and are located on the top floors of the hotel, in order to deflect any noise away from the bedrooms below.



For PENSON, budget accommodation shouldn’t mean a compromise on expectations and great comfort. It should definitely not equal boring. They took JO&JOE as an opportunity to go wild and design something unexpected. You never know what you’re going to discover behind a closed door.


Sleeping at JO&JOE comes in all shapes and sizes, with private and shared rooms emphasising the hybridity between the hotel and hostel-style accommodation. The corridors to rooms start the unexpected and crazy notion for guests with large murals, neon lighting and an optical illusion floor.


‘Together’ rooms are dorm-like areas that sleep up to twelve people and cater for large groups or individuals wanting to share. These rooms feature ‘room-within-a-room’ bespoke modular beds designed by PENSON to give guests privacy. High wooden partitions and blackout blinds give the modular beds a personal ‘pod’ feel. 


‘Yours’ rooms are private hotel-style guestrooms for two to six people with ensuite – to cater for smaller private groups, including families. ‘Cabins’ are cool spaces offering private individual lockable cabins within larger rooms and have access to the communal washrooms. 


The dream-world of the ‘OOO’ (Out of Ordinary) rooms are super surreal because of the variety of art covering the walls and ceilings. These are private hotel rooms with far-reaching views of the city, complete with private ensuite.


Each bed has everything the discerning traveller needs - USB charging ports, reading lamp, high-quality linen and an oversized bed for stretching out in. All bedrooms have access to the Happy House on the top floor and all bathrooms include toiletries as standard.



PENSON sourced and selected the work of nine local and international artists to portray JO&JOE Paris Gentilly’s unique character and eclectic atmosphere. The artist’s brief was to use their artistic license to the max, go a bit crazy and cover practically every surface with their creations. The result is a whacky, crazy, colour-filled interior experience that doesn’t conform. 


PENSON even turned artist and created some of the artwork too – keep an eye out for the PENSON team who secretly feature on a few of the private bathroom walls!


Artwork at JO&JOE Paris Gentilly is inherently part of its unique design story and not only harmonises the brand as a clear disrupter but reflects the life and style of its guests. Some artwork changes with different light settings, helping to transform the spaces from day to night.



I’m so pleased JO&JOE Paris Gentilly is now open for the world to enjoy! Its key location makes a special place to be, stay, play, rest, meet, eat, work or any other form of enjoyable activity to bring like-minded people closer together. 


The concept was not to design a hotel but to envisage what an unforgettable party would look like. PENSON are firm believers that emotionally considered spaces create operational profit for proprietors and loads of fun for guests.


It’s not just a hotel but it could be a dating agency in disguise! For PENSON, the aim is that many life-long loves, friendships, and relationships thrive from the parties and experiences shared here.” 

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