The formula of the computerised hotel room with no reception or staff, accessed with an access code after booking online, has been available in Europe’s big cities for several years now. Architect Simone Micheli has come up with an Italian version of the formula in which interior design is a key element, customising spaces which are normally characterised by symmetrical distribution and standardised furnishings.
A massive task of organisation led Simone Micheli and Alessandro Rosso to get a whole series of companies involved in the venture – from furnishings to technologies, from wall coverings to accessories and installations – experimenting with this new hospitality formula by setting up a hotel accessed directly from the street, on the ground floor of Via Goldoni 33. A former shop front has been renovated to include four suites, each furnished differently but in a similar style, sharing a graphic design on the walls which is however different in each room.
Simone Micheli makes his mark on the project with his unmistakeable fluid lines accompanied by colour schemes involving no subtle hues, designing the furnishings and lighting to form a dramatic set that fits into the urban landscapes immortalised by Maurizio Marcato in the photographs of Milan blown up on the walls.
The walls around the outside of the hotel suites and dividing the three rooms in each suite (bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom) are almost entirely covered with black and white photographs illustrating the photographer’s point of view on the city.
The areas without photographs are designed to contrast with the photographs and set them off with pure white wall coverings: the bathroom walls are covered with White porcelain stoneware from Iris Ceramica’s Brilliant collection, while all the floors are covered with Extra White from GranitiFiandre’s Tinte Unite (Solid Colours) collection, both produced using the new ACTIVE Clean Air & Antibacterial CeramicTM, eco-active and antibacterial treatment.
The use of extra white is a design choice that refers to the neutrality of perception on one hand, and the image of health and hygiene on the other: guests’ emotions as they look out over the city of Milan must be metabolised in moments of rest and reflection.
The furnishings cannot be freely moved around the room, for they are lacquered blocks on which to lean, sit, hang clothes, or sleep, which each guest can further customise by allocating them the most opportune functions. Unlike the single suites, the double suite has furniture based on the same concept of free function but made out of steel tubes, used as supporting elements for the lacquered surfaces. The perception of the absence of borders between the public and the private, between the home and the city, makes these rooms adrenaline-filled spaces of continuous visual stimulation, in a new concept of hospitality which does not isolate us from the world outside but immerses us in it totally.
Concept: Alessandro Rosso
Design: Simone Micheli
Surface area of single suite: 35 m2
Surface area of double suite: 50 m2
Opening: April 2010
Complete furnishings: Domodinamica
Bathroom walls covered with White porcelain stoneware from the Brilliant collection, made with the ACTIVE Clean Air & Antibacterial CeramicTM, treatment: Iris Ceramica
Extra White 120x60 porcelain stoneware tiles made with the ACTIVE Clean Air & Antibacterial CeramicTM, treatment, Tinte Unite collection: GranitiFiandre
Photographs: Juergen Eheim