by Meghna MehtaAug 05, 2020
The quaint environs of Tyrol and its idyllic hamlets are in many ways the ideal setting for an eco-retreat, places that serve to be global destinations for nature and travel enthusiasts, and an impetus to the hospitality sector in Europe. Earmarked by its expansive natural grounds, the Parc Hotel Florian in the Siusi village in South Tyrol and its cosy guestrooms have been a tourist-favourite retreat for years now, but the need of the day demanded an extension of the hotel: 10 additional suites in a standalone building, connected to the existing structure via a walkway. The unique architectural arrangement of the extension provided an exciting opportunity for Italy-based noa*: Network of Architecture, founded by Lukas Rungger and Stefan Rier. The exercise of designing the hotel had to then involve preserving the identity, form, and pride of the hotel and its magnificent grounds in an optimal way, while at the same time searching for a new yet continued form of expression for the new suites. All this, on an ecologically sensitive site proves to be a contextual challenge, but one that noa* seems to have arrived at an optimal solution for.
“When architecture takes on the vibrancy and rich diversity of nature, it will never be perceived as alien,” states an official release as a driving force behind the design of Floris. At the outset, a unified intention of the design and designers remained to have the building as reduced an on ground footprint as possible. This coincided with doing away with the notion of a row of rooms connected by a linear corridor, and the result was an orderly grouped ‘bunch’ of intimate, self-contained treehouses elevated from the ground using three-meter high supports. The columns on which the entire mass of the connected treehouses stands also appear to be arranged in a treelike, albeit geometric cluster, doubling up as an interpretation of the hotel’s vast natural surroundings and its attempts to have the structure ‘meld’ into them. Through this analogy, the new suites are “embedded” within the hotel’s vast park that eventually served as the central theme of the architecture.
The 10 new suites are accommodated on two floors within the structure, at the end of the walkway connecting the old hotel block to the new. The structure looks both ways to ensure each of the suites has a view of the park, with the space beneath the elevated cluster being made completely accessible from the grounds. To enhance the perceived organic character of the cluster, the rooms are located above each other, tilted at a slight angle, adding an additional dynamic edge to the hytte cluster. The tranquillity of the building is anchored into its surroundings by an unassuming, pre-grey coat to the hotel’s larch wooden façade.
The interior design scheme is particularly a thoughtful one, remarkably buying into the hotel’s natural influences and desires. All interior decor is designed around a subdued green interspersed with shades of grey, adding to the treehouse-like ambience and palette. The fabric covers, tiles, paints, all are done in a muted shade of bottle green, while the smoked oak flooring, fittings, and bathroom units in a restrained shade of black blend together harmoniously. The rooms and their layouts are treated as a confluence of the exteriors and the interiors, blending functionality with aesthetic. The planning of the rooms is pivoted around a free standing vanity unit with an incorporated mirror. The island can also be used as a console desk. While the expanse of the room is primarily designed to be as open as possible, with generous glass openings, the intimate areas are designed to be self-contained units, located at the far end of the suite.
Near the entrance to each suite, an open shower is elegantly flanked on one side by the self-contained toilet and bidet unit, and on the other by a small, private Finnish sauna, which guests can use at their leisure. An additional highlight is an open patio with an outdoor hot tub, which complements the sauna on offer in an appealing, irresistible manner. The sheltered balconies frame the magnificent views afforded by the hotel’s location, inside out. Personal freedom is underpinned as a defining undertone in the project, as the unhemmed patio provides a private, garment-free retreat, as does the external terrace area, dotted with apertures wherein tall vegetation springs from the ground, up into the cluster. A hammock like mesh in one of these apertures will serve as an ideal kick-back spot for your next read.
Location Siusi, South Tyrol, Italy
Client: Family Thomaseth
Architecture: noa* network of architecture
Interior Design: noa* network of architecture
Volume: 3.351 m3
Surface area: 790 m2