A mesmerising art nouveau building has been standing abandoned for the past couple of decades on the hillside near the picturesque Italian Lake Como.
Previously, the hotel was frequented by American and Italian movie stars alike, and now, Italiana Hotels has commissioned the Hungarian Varrodesign, an award-winning designer from Budapest, Hungary, to renew it.
The building was designed by architect Achille Manfredini from Milan in 1908 and has become famous among American movie stars around the middle of the 20th century. People like Marlon Brando visited it when the hotel was eventually purchased by the guru of transcendental meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in the ‘60s.
Since the ‘70s, there have been many attempts to restore the iconic building, and once even a fire broke out in the building, before it was finally purchased by the Italiana Hotels group.
Varrodesign is a Hungarian design company founded by the namesake Zoltán Varró, who started building his career about 20 years ago. According to Zoltán, he was always interested in design, and he recalls that as early as the age of four, he was already imagining making their apartment larger.
Zoltán appreciates every award, but some of the most venerable are the New York Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design, which he won with the design of the lobby of the Science Hotel in Szeged. According to Varró, this is one of the most prestigious awards in the design trade.
Forbes reports that Italiana Hotels has commissioned the Hungarian designer to rethink the concept and workings of the architectural heritage monument because they have been amazed by one of Varrodesign’s works in Budapest.
Emilio Polillo, a businessman from Florence and the owner of the hotel chain, had been looking for the perfect interior designer for six years when he took an interest in Varrodesign because of his work in Aria Hotel.
According to Gentlemansreview, Zoltán Varró, the founder of the internationally recognised Varrodesign, said the following about his commission to create the interior design of the iconic hotel:
“Emilio Polillo came to me with the idea to create something unique which is far removed from standard hotel design clichés. I never considered the current fashion or looked at the neighbouring hotel because that is what makes safe solutions. My commissioner likes that I dare to dream big and that my ideas are bold.”
The site says that Como is most recognised and remembered for its beautiful lakeside villas, but this hotel is hundreds of metres above Lake Como, and sometimes people can see from Milan to Switzerland, while other times, the clouds float under the hotel, creating a magical scene.
“When I first visited the hotel, I was touched by the special location. I found myself on a cliff above a lake. I felt like it was how I imagined the abode of the gods to be in my childhood, as they peered through the clouds at what people were doing down there. I will create a different world here, and we will rename the hotel ‘Nuvole Garden’, which means the ‘garden of clouds’,” Zoltán Varró recalled.
Source: Forbes.hu, Varrodesign.hu, Gentlemansreview.hu