hospitality. At Torno on the shores of Lake Como, in total harmony with the nature that surrounds it is Il Sereno. The 5-star hotel designed by Patricia Urquiola, winner of Best of Year Award from Interior Design Magazine in the resort hotel category, is the younger brother of the informal Le Sereno at St. Barts, renewed by French designer Christian Liaigre. Original but surprisingly simple, the exterior is inspired by the poetry of Italian rationalism, and in particular the imposing Casa del Fascio in Como, designed by Giuseppe Terragni. The original version however is here interpreted from a contemporary and sustainable point of view. Ecology is central to the project as well as being behind the life of this hotel, for which an efficient energy saving system has been designed. There is a constant dialogue between the building and the environment in which it is, literally, immersed (literally, since the foundations emerge from the lake). The focal point of the lobby is the dramatic staircase designed by Patricia Urquiola and made up of overlapping broad wooden steps. Enveloping this soft and sinuous curve is a wall of copper pipes which serves to divide the spacious rooms. The harmony between the interior and the exterior is largely due to the choice of materials – all natural and local to the area, such as the Ceppo di Gré that covers the facade – and the correspondence between lines and symmetrical forms. In line with the same concept, the pool appears to extend into the lake and the vertical gardens, designed by the French biologist Patrick Blanc, recreate the movement of the waves and reflect their green. On the interior, Moltrasio stone and Fossena stone clad the floors, while the bathroom walls are made of travertine. In all the hotel bathrooms the Lariana bathtub sits in an essential and material space. Its name is a precious homage to Lake Como, which in ancient times was known as Larius. Made of Cristalplant® biobased, it was designed by Patricia Urquiola specifically for the hotel. Characterized by the stark contrast between its delicate curves and the clean cut of the double casing, the Lariana recalls the early twentieth century tubs used by the great Milanese masters.
Patricia Urquiola was born in Oviedo (Spain) in 1961. Lives and works in Milan. She attended the School of Architecture of Madrid Polytechnic and Milan Polytechnic, where she graduated in 1989 with Achille Castiglioni. From 1990 to 1992 she was assistant lecturer to both Achille Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli in Milan and Paris.