The art of living, as interpreted by noa*

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Monastero Arx Vivendi – the name of this new hotel in Arco, near Trento – designed by noa* network of architecture.

From the design point of view, the idea was to emphasise the character of the heritage-protected Monastery of the Serve di Maria Addolorata, on the shores of upper Lake Garda, by preserving its original internal layout and extending its geometrical severity to the new buildings added, with close attention to the choice of materials and colours.

The project involved the renovation of the 17C monastery and the conversion of its interiors for hotel use, creating the communal areas (reception, lobby, breakfast room, bar area and kitchen) on the ground floor and the bedrooms mainly on the first and attic floors.

A completely new Wellness building was also constructed overlooking the garden: 500 square metres, with relaxation areas, treatment rooms, saunas and a wellness sequence with steam bath.

The project received an honourable mention in the Commercial category of the Confindustria Ceramica industry association’s 2021 “La Ceramica e il Progetto” (Ceramic Tiles and Architecture) award. The work on the 17C complex involved the conversion of a historic building into a hotel, and revealed that ceramics can be an effective choice, as they establish a dialogue between past and present through cross-references of materials, while also providing the performances necessary for a public space.

“This building, with its austere character,” Niccolò Panzani, interior designer at noa* explained, “needed materials that would underline the features of the existing context. Mystone Ceppo di Gré porcelain stoneware – used in the bedrooms and suites (on the floors and walls, in 60×60 and 30×60 cm size, and also on the bathroom counters) – struck us as ideal for creating an effect as natural, elegant and timeless as the monastery interiors themselves. In the ancient refectory, on the other hand, we covered the long central table of the breakfast room with the dark toned The Top Marble Look Grigio Carnico collection, to combine performance with a majestic impression.” Ceramics once again proved their extreme versatility: from internal coverings to furnishing features, they were the key to the project’s character while providing all the performances required for a hospitality location.