Marco Piva Studio for Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa Marco Piva Studio for Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa
Architecture

Marco Piva Studio for Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa

Written by Redazione |

07 July 2017

Being now a hospitality institution of the Sicilian Province of Ragusa, or maybe due to this reason, Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa taken into the Starwood Hotels & Resorts chain in October 2016 is undergoing a significant rebranding phase. The Marco Piva Studio was involved in the project at this stage for the restyling of a large common area on the ground floor occupying 570 square meters, as part of a wider renovation program.

The client's purpose was to make an improvement in terms of both design and functionality, however without being invasive but maintaining the historical identity of the building. 

Therefore, the activity of the Marco Piva Studio was focused first on identifying the decorative elements of interior spaces to be maintained and emphasized and second on the replacement and integration of furniture items that, apart from the aesthetic component, also had to serve as a link to the local culture and perform their functional role.

From a functional point of view the large space on the ground floor, typical of the rural agricultural architecture of the 1900s, with its imposing height and the roof beams, was strongly dispersive in acoustic, thermal, visual and management terms: therefore, there was a strong need to create a rhythm by dividing the spaces and giving them their functions, without cutting in the architecture.

Two impressive theatrical wings represented by two full-height curtains and by a block of glass, on one side, stress the existing architecture and on the other side, ideally divide the large hall in four: the reception area, the waiting/lounge one, the shop one and the living one, conceived as an extension of the neighbouring bar.

Apart from visually dividing the spaces, this also performs an important acoustic function of interrupting the sound waves, maintaining the temperature (reducing the conditioned air dispersion) and filtering the sunlight coming from the three large French windows at the back of the hall. 

As regards the colours, the chromatic mood bore mainly on the local architecture and decoration traditions. For example, it was decided to maintain the golden motives of Sicilian Baroque (the reception chandeliers and counters), moreover, to emphasize the reception area, or the olive green and orange red of the waiting area cushions, or the cloth texture, or the chandelier caps which are inspired by some local Sicilian phenomena. 

On the other side, though, there was the intention to soften, somewhat lower the traditional vivid and bright tones, in order to create a calm and quiet space by using such neutral colours as white, dove grey and black. 

The three original counters of the Reception area designed in the Sicilian Baroque style were maintained and emphasized by replacing the legacy retro desk wall in light ceramic with a coating in tar stone, a local stone of lava origin with shades of mocha and black, creating a strong contrast with the counters.

The portal enclosing the desk was varnished gold foil to evoke the tones of the counters and a further allusion to the history and to the traditional colours of the Sicilian territory. In addition, the old lamps were replaced with a system of directable spotlights at the height of the desks, to guarantee accurate lighting of the operational area, while on the wall a LED strip was installed to create an ornamental light source and at the same time to emphasize the stone shades but also to focus on the clocks and frames. 

The reception area was divided from the lounge one by means of two large theatrical curtains: a clear allusion to the culture and history of Sicilian theatre. However, it was decided to lighten and modernize this theatricality by using a precious light fabric with an effect of soft and rich downfall aligned with the floor decorations. The curtains have a functional role, too: their opening or closing creates an interesting “see-through” play or totally covers the view of the restaurant area. 

In the waiting/lounge area and the living one all the legacy seats and tables were replaced to meet the needs of different areas: for example, in the waiting area the layout of furniture items is more informal and flexible, with various types of seats, from poufs to armchairs to single chairs; the living area, a more formal one, was supposed to host comfortable sofas arranged in an orderly manner.

The legacy suspended lights were maintained but emphasized by lowering them to make them better interact with the environment, upholstering the long chains with soft fabrics for a softer and cosier image. Even the lamp caps were replaced, increasing their dimension to stress their presence and upholstering them with the same fabrics used for the chains. 

The shop area that used to represent just a shop window drawing attention to another area in the hotel complex now becomes a focal space and acts as another big scenic point designed to divide and transform the environment. It is a large box of glass and gold-coloured metal with a structure that on one side is transparent and on the other side is decorated with traditional local colours. The box hosts an area reserved for the Sicilian company "Ortigia", which produces fragrances and perfumes.

The glass block divides the informal waiting/lounge space from the formal living one, at the same time maintaining the transparency thus being a light, non-invasive element. 

Among the suppliers who participated in the project developed by Marco Piva together with the local colleagues, there are Dedar for fabrics, upholstery and soft furniture; Den-Store for the manufacturing and assembly of curtains and soft furniture; Oikos for the painting of the reception facade. 

And the result is really exclusive.

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