UNAHotel Giardini Naxos in Taormina is a project the Milanese studio CaberlonCaroppi is working at. The hotel is a building belonging to the 1970-1980’s constructive culture. For commissioners, it represents one of the largest structure, as it is composed of a central core where you can find the restaurant area, the bar, the common areas, and the reception along with a series of villas spread throughout the great and beautiful Mediterranean garden which you can drive around by golf-cart.
For the first three years of the project, the Studio has worked on the villas, and, this year, the challenge was to work on the hotel, starting from the principle that villas are seasonal in terms of occupation (in fact they are empty in winter), whereas the central body should have a life on its own for the whole year, with a higher level of openness compared to the villas.
The designing commitment focused on the central body, which is four-story high, in addition to the common areas on the ground floor whose realization has been slowed down because of the pandemic, whereas the work on rooms has continued. The activity in this area was resumed as soon as possible. This year, two floors of rooms have been completed, and on the fourth floor work has been done also on the corridor which, because of its great length, has required to better define the path, which was necessary in such a long corridor. Work has been done also on the technical side placing soundproof doors and improving acoustic, considered essential in very old structures.
In particular, to better trace the corridor, a series of great portals have been designed. They contain the nearby doors and carry also the lights and the room numbers. These portals are also ‘technical’ because they contain material which first was placed in a random way on the walls, to enrich also these details with an architectural elegance.
“For the flooring we used plaid carpet – explained architect Chiara Caberlon – because this hotel is very popular and the Direction asked us to take into account the remarkable practicality and a fast replacement of the damaged parts”.
“We work on the room with a restyling – continued the architect – considering the quite limited budget and working on the right aspects, creating also a reference to the villas, since the work was carried out starting from here. Villas have obviously larger spaces, whereas the hotel is conceived as an urban hotel: hall, closet, sleeping area. In the hotel rooms we still reproduce the same signals which were present in the villas, with the necessary sizing and the right spaces.
The wallpaper featuring palms brings metaphorically nature into the rooms, but the line has become more graphic in form of little details to ‘urbanize’ the concept, working, then, also on cabinet handles, room numbers, small objects which recall, along with the wallpaper realized on our design expanding to the headboard, the Mediterranean context.
We add some furnishing details like the lamp we designed or the wicker armchair, to contribute to bring also a flavor of holiday in a ‘corporate’ hotel context. In fact, the hotel includes huge meeting rooms designed for an important use such as meetings and corporate events”.
After summer, also the works on the pizzeria and the baby club areas were resumed, continuing to follow this common thread to close in a unified way the project which run on separate parallel tracks. In perspective, the project will also be able to include an intervention on the spa and a relevant work on the outdoor areas.
“Currently, the hotel is working with two renovated stories and two more old fashioned floors – continued the architect Caberlon – but there are solutions at a more strictly furnishing level which are already complete; in the restaurant facing the sea, we worked on furnishings adding marine and fishing motifs with simple yet always creative techniques, creating something new with a positive level of sympathy with the director and with a high degree of autonomy which starts from the relationship with the CEO Fabrizio Gaggio”.
The Valtellinese group Concreta acted as interior contractor and, if we exclude building and flooring, Concreta have made all the purchases and produced all the furnishings, in order to assure a unitary management of the different aspects and a good level of suppliers, starting from a cost-effective budget.