Intimate luxury. Hotel Il Sereno by Patricia Urquiola

PROJECT Hotel Il Sereno
ARCHITECT Patricia Urquiola
LOCATION Torno (CO), Italy
YEAR 2016
PHOTO Patricia Parinejad

A contemporary perception of the sensations of the 1950s. The change of light throughout the day in interaction with the water, the different lines of the mountains and sky, the historical heritage of the lake.
The Sereno Lago di Como is an intimate boutique hotel set on a sunny promontory near Torno (CO) and surrounded by luxuriant gardens. It was built to respect the natural and historical environment in which it is located.
Buoyed by the success of the Le Sereno St Barth’s, Luis Contreras has once more commissioned Patricia Urquiola to create a structure with a contemporary look that represents a new concept of luxury in an already competitive market.
The Sereno Lago di Como offers a clean design and personalized service and its objective is to be the most discreet and elegant of the top-end hotels already found on the Lake.
All natural materials were chosen for the facings such as stone, wood and fibres mainly from the local area.
These include Pietra di Moltrasio and Pietra di Fossena for the floors, Travertino for the bathroom walls and Ceppo di Gre aka Ceppo Lombardo for the facade and for some interiors and furniture as well as walnut.

The structure was inspired by the rationalism of Giuseppe Terragni’s Casa del Fascio but in a more contemporary style. Urquiola revised the lodges and added wooden panels that can be adjusted either to allow light to enter or protect against it according to the guest’s wishes. The choice was made to create a space in harmony with the natural environment in order to enhance the light but also to create separés for defining the various environments while maintaining a structure consistent with the landscape. A large amount of research was undertaken to make sure that the building fully respected its environment in a sustainable way and in fact Il Sereno obtained Climate House certification thanks to the materials, energy saving system and lighting used.
The building was clad in Ceppo di Gre stone and Patrick Blanc created two pieces for the hotel. One is a vertical garden on the facade on the northern lakefront and the other is a green sculpture, both reminders that nature plays an important role in the hotel’s concept and is a reference to the greenery that surrounds the lake.
As a matter of fact the hotel is set in a lakefront garden, criss-crossed by paths where guests can stroll.
Two vertical woods reinforce the harmony of the hotel with the surrounding landscape and at the heart of the gardens is the 18-metre infinity pool and solarium. Near the pool is a small private beach with direct access to the lake.
The hotel’s restaurant, also designed by Patricia Urquiola, is located on the water and is divided into three areas: a closed area with air conditioning, a veranda next to the lake and a terrace. The location of Il Sereno, Lake Como allows guests to enjoy the natural light in the summer until late evening.
Finally the welcoming lobby was designed by Patricia Urquiola as a succession of open rooms offering bar service. Around them is a terrace overlooking the lake and the historic Darsena, or dock that houses the hotel and where guests can order drinks from the main bar in the lobby.
A gazebo protects and sections off the pool area and the pier in order to host house parties and weddings in privacy and peace and quiet.

BIOGRAPHY
PATRICIA URQUIOLA WAS BORN IN OVIEDO (SPAIN) IN 1961. SHE LIVES AND WORKS IN MILAN. SHE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF ARCHITECTURE AT MADRID POLYTECHNIC AND MILAN POLYTECHNIC, WHERE SHE GRADUATED IN 1989 WITH ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI. ASSISTANT LECTURER TO ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI AND EUGENIO BETTINELLI IN MILAN AND PARIS, SHE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT OFFICE OF DEPADOVA, WORKING WITH VICO MAGISTRETTI, HEAD OF LISSONI ASSOCIATI’S DESIGN GROUP. IN 2001 SHE OPENED HER OWN STUDIO WORKING ON PRODUCT DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE, AND INSTALLATIONS.

MAIN PROJECTS
Room Mate Giulia, Milan, Italy, 2016
Igniv Restaurant, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, 2015
Museo del Gioiello, Vicenza, Italy, 2014
Das Stue, Berlin, Germany, 2012
Spa Four Seasons, Milan, Italy, 2011
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain, 2010
Boutiques for Santoni, Missoni, Panerai and Gianvito Rossi, several locations worldwide