It is the expansive horizons of the Dolomites, the family welcome and personal freedom that distinguish the latest project – complicated and passionate – designed by the dynamic studio noa* network of architecture.
The Floris Green Suites, like tree houses, with a discreet irregularity but carefully designed, offer guests a refuge as private and intimate as it is open and bright. Each has an outdoor area with a terrace flanked by openings through which the trees of a lush park grow: here, you can sink back and relax in a hammock-like mesh.
For many years, the flagship of the Parc Hotel Florian, situated at the foothills of the village of Siusi allo Sciliar, in South Tyrol, is its magnificent park, in which ancient trees surround an idyllic lake and a swimming pool. The complex has recently been expanded with ten brand new suites in a stand-alone building, which connects to the existing structure, providing both a sense of continuity and a fresh perspective with a distinctive architectural language.
Noa* architects were commissioned to enhance the design of the hotel, which meant confronting a complex building situation, both for the need to better preserve the identity of the hotel (in particular the park, unique in its kind), and for logistical problems. The intervention immediately required ‘design sensitivity’.
The original idea was to create the new building raised above the ground, so as not to compromise the full extension of the park and occupy the smallest possible surface. A building at ground level would have resulted in the loss of sizeable portion of the grounds. The concept envisaged orderly grouping of small tree houses in their own right which, from the height of their three meters, would allow guests of all the suites to enjoy the park below. The desire, in reality, was that guests not just live in the new suites, but that they become an integral part of the garden.
The entire architectural project therefore developed around the park: it was decided that the structure would become a constituent element in every respect, as if it had always been there.
The intellectual concept of tree houses began to take shape: at the end of the connecting walkway that forms the backbone of the new development is the two-storey structure containing the suites, with five rooms on each floor, all of which have views over the park. In order to make the architectural complex even more dynamic, the rooms are located above each other at a slight angle, creating the impression of a natural, grown structure while preserving the views. Guests have the sensation of being ensconced in their own little house.
Despite this architectural openness, the appearance of the whole building is preserved, as it nestles into the park landscape. This is anchored by a pre-grey wooden facade, which confers a degree of uniform tranquillity to the unique cluster of tree houses.
The new Floris Green Suites are no less spectacular inside than they are outside. The conventional living, bedroom and bathroom areas have been reimagined in an unusual way.
The central living area opens out onto a sheltered balcony overlooking the magnificent mountain scenery. Everything is confluent: rooms, functionality, exterior and interior. A free-standing vanity unit with mirror, which can also be used as a console desk, provides a pivotal point. The most intimate area is located at the far end of the suite, where the entrance is: an open shower is elegantly flanked on one side by the self-contained toilet and bidet unit, and on the other by a small, private Finnish sauna. Finally, on the open patio, but protected from prying eyes, stands a white hot tub.
The interior decor is designed around a subdued green interspersed with shades of grey, adding to the tree-house ambience. Underpinning the overall concept are the fabric covers, tiles and painted surfaces, which help to merge inside and outside. The smoked oak flooring, fittings and bathroom units in a restrained shade of black blend harmoniously together.
Among the many projects by noa* network of architecture published on the Interni website, the sperimental house of Stefan Rier, cofounder of the studio, stands out, obtained from an old barn in the Alpe di Siusi Dolomite area (read here).