According to analysis presented at the last Real Estate & Finance summit, an event organized by the 24Ore Business School and Il Sole 24Ore, there will be increased investment in hotels and European cities in 2019. Considering the current substantial flow of tourists, they are certainly in the spotlight.
Expert Paul Gest, UBS's lead real estate strategist, affirms we must focus on strategic locations and creative formats. Translated into a design vocabulary, this means searching for strategic areas in cities - from their historic centres to new, more external areas undergoing transformation - and calling architects to work on design solutions that can engage clients. We must not forget that the entire Ho.re.ca sector is growing and has a positive ripple effect on other sectors as well: a good hotel improves its neighbourhood and allows the circulation of different people. This triggers renewal processes for the urban environment.
Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel: a jewel of Ho.Re.Ca design
A recent project, which has managed to combine history and innovation, is The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel. Located in the ancient heart of Rome, near the Pantheon, the hotel was designed by Studio Marco Piva. During the 11 months of construction, a time of meticulous work between existing and new structures, the project became a modern edifice. The former offices of the Senate of the Republic was transformed into a luxury hotel that is part of the Marriott's “Autograph Collection": a fine example of Ho.Re.Ca contemporary design.
The outcome is a hotel that preserves the monumentality of historic Roman architecture but is, at the same time, a testimony to fresh and contemporary taste. Inside, there is Florim porcelain stoneware in a variety of different colours. The juxtaposition of different geometries and nuances has produced a gorgeous light, as if to recall the band of natural light which enters the oculus of the nearby Pantheon to illuminate the entire space.
The various rooms in the hotel are connected as if they were a rich symphony of different voices. The glossy black-effect porcelain stoneware floors by Casa dolce Casa - Casamood, of the Stones & More 2.0 line, represent the pentagram upon which mobile and fixed pieces of furniture move like notes to create harmonic music. The Stone & More 2.0 line offers a refined selection inspired by precious stones and marbles. Specifically, the Sahara Noir colour, chosen for this project, allows for an elegant and enveloping environment against which the furnishings and the arches of the historic building stand out. Vaulted ceilings are the ideal outline for allowing light to be distributed evenly, entering into a close relationship with matter.
The continuity of material variation
The original building was uncovered and certain remnants of it were eliminated; the Marco Piva studio tried to identify original architectural elements that would enhance the spaces. The six floors of the building are organized along a path of ascension: each floor presents combinations of different materials that are somehow connected. The top floor is intended as a panoramic terrace and is the pride of the hotel. The interior furnishings were also a part of the project, an intervention of careful consideration for the overall space. Florim porcelain stoneware is a natural choice for the Marco Piva studio in offering a total design experience.
Light and matter
The building's original classical forms have been enhanced with an LED lighting system. Lit up this way, the classicism of architecture succeeds in expressing itself as a constant presence, the beginning of a story that continues through looking out of the windows and enjoying the panorama of ancient Rome.
Towards the city
The Ho.re.ca sector tends to target audiences which are as diverse as possible. In the case study in question, this is achieved by setting up rooms - 79 rooms and 20 suites - that are different both in terms of size and type; some are mini-apartments that allow guests to experience the hotel as if it were a Roman palace. The complexity of the materials used is also evident in the two restaurants: the more intimate and starred Dionysus Gourmet Restaurant is on the ground floor; the top floor has the Divinity Restaurant, which also serves as a breakfast room for guests to begin the day admiring the splendid panorama of the Italian capital.
For the enjoyment of the sunset instead, there is the Divinity Terrace lounge bar; from here it is possible to see the Pantheon and life in Piazza Sant'Eustachio. In contrast to the dark stoneware used for the internal spaces, the lounge bar was designed as a welcoming Mediterranean terrace; it has neutral and pale shades to best receive the warmth of Rome's light. To further enrich the establishment, there is also a gallery and a boutique, following the tradition of large luxury hotels.