A wellness hotel that sets new standards in architecture and design • Hotel Designs

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The design of the Aeon Hotel, which houses an innovative wellness concept that plays on striking architecture and thoughtful design, was about connection and context for the architects and designers of noa architecture network *. It was also about shifting and blurring the lines, looking at the boundaries between inside and outside – the visible and the invisible – between dream and reality. The studio’s use of color in interiors does just that; it creates divisions, but blurs the lines. You have the feeling of standing firmly on the ground, while being able to touch the clouds.

The new wellness hotel, completed in July 2021, is nestled between meadows and woods and is defined by its panoramic views over the Italian countryside. The original construction on a historic farmhouse, consisting of an old inn, dwelling house and traditional barn, has all been redesigned to be part of the next chapter in its history – and one in which the architecture and design studio created the new framework that is the signature of Aeon.

“It would have been easy to go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose another path. – Christian Rottensteiner, architect, noa *.

From the start, the 550-year-old farmhouse has been a source of inspiration for the development process of the project, with particular attention paid to the views and panoramas of the site. A gentle nod to its past through the layout of building units and details, with new buildings being consciously modeled on the existing structure. “The creation of an ambivalent tension between the centuries-old tradition of the rural complex and an exclusively modern statement was the basic principle underlying the design process”, explains Christian Rottensteiner, architect at noa *. “It would have been easy to go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we took a different path: the design consists of free-standing structures that allow the landscape to flow and integrate with it. The result is two buildings, one housing the public space with a reception, bistro, bar and wellness area, while the other includes private spaces with a total of 15 suites.

At first glance, the buildings seem singular but together they form a permeable courtyard backdrop. However, there is an ingenious connection in the form of a hallway that elegantly disappears under an artificially created hill, disappearing out of sight.

The two buildings that form the wellness hotel are also directly linked to the existing structures in their design language. The use of traditional gable roofs, for example, along with a very dynamic facade design with slanted reinforcing elements, replicates the design of the struts and consoles of the historically listed barn while translating them into a modern statement. This allows you to perceive the facades differently – depending on how you approach the project. On the one hand, the east and west facades break sharply towards the outside, while on the other hand, the north and south sides appear as a homogeneous envelope. Trapezoidal windows are designed to catch the eye in a striking manner, while the slatted top structure that runs the length of the building almost obscures the floors and creates a seamless look.

“Verticality and linearity are the leitmotifs of two strongly contrasting design approaches – sometimes creating the feeling of floating between worlds,” Rottensteiner adds. “This project is about the details and the stories, which are about the family and the place where the project is rooted. For example, wood from the farm’s own wood was used. In addition, the use of this renewable raw material gives the architecture a vitality through projections and hollows that create exciting shadows.

Guests enter the building through a black steel entrance gate, which bears on the exterior the ancient family coat of arms dating back to 1464. “The ‘slope’ is traditionally an element of load transfer and static reinforcement – here it was used to make the volume more dynamic and to merge it with the landscape, ”adds Rottensteiner.

Stepping through the steel front door into the lobby, guests can grasp the full meaning of the design narrative, which is about blurring the lines and creating subtle divisions, suited to modern travelers. Here, clients move away from harsh architectural details and instead enter a world of softer interiors. The smart palette of calm tones as well as tactile textures introduce the feeling of being rooted and connected to nature. A soft beige meets a mystical blue. Meanwhile, this expressive and sharp division is constantly drawn across the buildings, both horizontally and vertically.

contemporary hotel bar design

Image credit: AlexFilz. Noa architects

“The past has grown like stone, wood and nature,” explains interior designer Patrick Gürtler. “The future, on the other hand, is veiled, mysterious and artificial; it is intangible like the sky, the night or the ocean. Between the two is the moment, a clear and unconditional break, but also a point of contact. One line – not to separate, but to connect.

In public buildings, the sharp transition between beige and blue takes place at eye level, to make the concept of “intermediate zone” tangible. But the design concept doesn’t just focus on floors, walls and ceilings. Everything – from curtains to furniture and lighting – is part of a holistic approach to design.

blue and white contemporary design scheme in wellness hotel

Image caption: AlexFilz / Noa architecture *

The wellness area is located on the first floor. It was designed so that guests “dive” through the horizontal blue and unconsciously find themselves in the opposite color concept. The consumption trail then invites guests to move around the different areas, opening onto a large relaxation area and an adjoining terrace.

The half-covered outdoor infinity pool juts out from the southwest side of the building, offering spectacular views. It is accessed by a platform, the upper level of which marks the “water’s edge”, once again playing on the use of color and the divisions between blue and beige.

A semi-covered infinity pool attached to a contemporary wellness hotel in Italy

Image credit: Alex Filz / Noa architecture

A few steps up, guests enter a separate relaxation area that can be used as a meditation room, for yoga, or just to relax. In front, in the outdoor area, is a hot tub on a roof terrace with an incredible view of the Dolomites.

In the adjacent building, connected by an underground hallway, are the 15 suites – and here, too, the division of the colored worlds takes a 90-degree turn: what was horizontal is now vertical. There is a deliberate psychological effect at play here, as from there clients can immerse their entire body in the respective area which has an overall relaxing effect.

The three types of rooms differ in size and furnishings. The bed of each suite has been given its unique position in order to make use of the breathtaking view. Another highlight in the truest sense is the Gallery Suite, where an internal staircase leads to a rooftop living platform, where you can gaze at the sky through the opening in the roof.

Ultimately, the design of this hotel, with its deliberately thought-out interior details, is all about taking guests on a journey and using design to facilitate this as they undergo spatial changes, contrasting textures, and conscious use of space. color to highlight the architecture and direct their experience which has well-being and nature as its heart.

Main image credit: Alex Filz / Noa architecture


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