Hotel Nira Montana is the first 5-star hotel in La Thuile, a small town in Valle D’Aosta at the foot of Mont Blanc.
“In popular belief – states the architect Simone Del Portico who was in charge of the hotel’s interior design together with his team – one identifies a mountain residence with atmospheres where, by tradition, the strong presence of natural materials distinguishes all settings, in both the furnishings and in the finishes. It was therefore necessary not to disappoint such expectations, by creating a system capable of generating the same charming suggestions thanks to a modern lightness of silhouettes and texture combinations”.
Wood no longer plays the traditional sole starring role, but alongside it stand paints, wallpapers, iron and weathering steel, which contribute to a complex combination where the diversity of materials leads to an overall balance.
The white plasters alternate with warm chocolate hues; tree-patterned wallpapers often replace wood; the oak-wood floors with irregular planks in the bedrooms stand out thanks to the white skirting boards; the unfinished recovery wood making up the extruded furnishings is trimmed with iron profiles, generating clear, clean combinations of apparently opposing entities.
The aim was to manage to extend the typical emotional features of natural materials to neutral elements that are conceptually distant from such perceptive references in a sophisticated overall balance.
The same gentle balance was maintained in the choice of furnishings and accessories, which were selected from some of the most well-known contemporary design brands; specifically, for the terrace furniture, the choice was Aria by Nardi (www.nardigarden.com) in anthracite shades, a generous fiber-glass resin outdoor armchair with fabric cushions and a slatted frame. The armchair is paired off with the supporting coffee table, which is also slatted.
The mood, colour and matt finish of the armchair and coffee table are a perfect match for the textured contrast with wood, as well as being furnishing components which are designed specifically for outdoor use, since they are durable and built to withstand all temperatures. In addition, they do not require any maintenance and are completely recyclable.
One of the jewels in the new hotel’s crown is the extensive SPA: swimming pool, sauna, steam room, vitarium, Rasul treatment cabin, massage rooms, relaxation areas and even areas which are accessible to the clientèle in private: these are just some of the services available at the facility.
From a plant engineering perspective, the most appealing feature is the modern remote heating system implemented, which is linked up to the heating plant in La Thuile; the heating plant is powered by wood-based biomasses, and it operates in cogeneration, ensuring both the heating of utilities as well as the introduction of “clean” electricity in the public mains.
The hotel is fitted with solar panels which are used to heat the domestic hot water. All the taps are fitted with aerators to limit water consumption by mixing it with air. The internal air recirculation and purification system operates at a constant temperature.
The lighting technology section envisages an almost total use of LED luminaires; this makes for drastically lower energy consumption levels than traditional halogen lighting systems.
In terms of construction, the building envelope has been designed to maximise energy containment through the use of materials with high levels of thermal insulation; windows and doors have been picked among the most excellent products available on the market in terms of energy savings.
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Interior design: Studio Del Portico – Viale Col di Lana 7/A Milano – www.studiodelportico.it
Team: Architect Simone Del Portico, Architect Anna Quattrocchi, Architect Simone Battani, Architect Silvana Citterio
Photos by Andrea Martiradonna