MoDus Architects revamps the Icaro Hotel in Italy with a rhythmic wooden façade
by Jerry ElengicalJan 26, 2022
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Dhwani ShanghviPublished on : Apr 26, 2023
The historic Falkensteiner Family Resort in Lido, originally established by the Falkensteiner family in 1957, is undergoing an expansion by noa* network of architecture. The first hospitality property set up by the Falkensteiner family, the resort now accommodates a clearly defined target group—of families with children. To that end, the expansion of the resort is not restricted to a mere creation of additional spaces and renovation, but also a remodelling of the gabled roof, such that its form would create spaces for play as well leisure.
Located entirely in the Alps, the site is on the coast of a small lake at the edge of a village in Casteldarne in South Tyrol, a province in north Italy. The existing gabled roof is discarded for a fluid scaled, wave-like structure, which not only covers the new additions, but also the existing buildings. Sloping down on both sides, it alludes to a vegetated hill, which blends with the landscape. The recreated form thus accommodates a ski slope, skating rink, playground, adventure park and recreation areas. The rooftop playground thus embodies the alpine context it sits in.
Spanning a length of 300 metres across an area of 4900 sqm, the roof peaks at its centre with a height of 18 metres, where a deck accommodates a skating rink. Constructed in reinforced concrete, a system of steel beams and timber, supports the roof where it intersects with the existing structure. A skin of metal shingles follows the profile of the roof structure, creating an expansive space that assimilates a multitude of activities—for children and adults alike.
A recreational park, enveloped by a loop trail for walking, cuts across the roof, encountered by various stations for sports and activities. On the east, a 163-metre-long ski slope, along with a conveyor belt for easy transfer to the top, occupies the slope. The slope facing the west, on the other hand, is occupied by a fitness area, a bobby car track and an elevated mini adventure park. Below this space, a field allows for outdoor sports like football, basketball etc. From this level a 120-metre-long slide spirals over the lake, towards an underground swimming pool. This bright yellow winding slide stands out against the bucolic landscape as an emblem of a space catering to young guests.
The challenge for the Italian architects Wolfgang Heinz and Andreas Profanter, laid in retaining the identity of the original resort, without compromising on the structure and extension process. The resort design thus recalls the image of an alpine barn, with the use of geometric patterns in natural wood. Along the bank of the lake the building envelope, an artificial hill accommodating a spa realigns the relationship between the lake and the building. Here a terrace overlooks the lakefront and the partially covered swimming pool.
The expansion and renovation, which includes not only addition of rooms and restaurant spaces but also redesigning the interiors, aims at creating a playful and child-friendly atmosphere, while simultaneously evoking the natural environment in its context. The restaurant, spread across three floors and organised to maximise uninterrupted views to the lake, is composed of varying themes across different spaces. While nature shapes the interiors of the restaurant—manifested through motifs, furniture and lighting fixtures, the buffet area mimics a market, with the incorporation of wooden trolleys on wheels and an open kitchen.
Of the total 118 rooms, 36 have been added as part of the extension—the design for which expresses the hotel’s reconstituted target group. A sliding partition separates the parents’ area from the children’s area, allowing for simultaneous privacy and supervision.
The Falksteiner Family Resort thus invokes the Alpine context through the design of its serpentine roof, delineation of program, and symbolic interiors.
by Dhwani Shanghvi Jun 03, 2023
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