UNA Spa | 2003
I envision the hotel as a tree, whose far-reaching branches extend across the world, but with roots firmly embedded in its native soil.
Una Hotel Vittoria was established in Florence, perhaps the most fertile terrain in history for the flourishing of the arts, with the idea of capturing the Renaissance spirit of the city in a large communal home away from home, to provide a functional and inspirational stopping place for people from all walks of life, in its 84 rooms.
And each of these 84 rooms has a different historical figure pictured on the door, each one a generous and courteous host with a story to tell the passing guest, for a more human and meaningful approach to the sacred rite of sleep. The hallways leading to the rooms are hung with art, making them into galleries where even getting lost becomes a fruitful exploration.
At the entrance, a captivating vortex of floral mosaics turns into a reception desk, while the bar counter circles in upon itself, creating receptive spiral forms where opportunities for contact abound.
Social contact is likewise the focal point of the restaurant area, whose long curved table designed by Atelier Van Lieshout, inspired by old-fashioned refectory tables, creates a common platform for reviving the spirit of conviviality. The moulded ceiling of the dining area follows the perimeter of the table, which is illuminated through a filter of cathedral-glass decorated with fractal designs. The floor mosaics gracefully impinge against the walls, in waves that carry hospitality in their wake. While the medium-density walls are rippled, as if by the wind.
More than a hotel, a spatial narrative touching on themes like the mobility of the planet, presence within absence and intellectual nomadism, poised briefly on a tree branch before taking flight again.