A five-star hotel spanning innovation and tradition in La Thuile
Studio Del Portico
«In the popular imagination, a mountain residence is associated with extensive use of natural materials for both furnishings and finishings,» commented the architects from the Milan-based practice Studio Del Portico commissioned to design Hotel Nira Montana in La Thuile. «When designing this kind of space we had to be careful not to disappoint these expectations, so we created a system based on light, modern lines and combinations of materials,» explained the team made up of Simone Del Portico, Anna Quattrocchi, Simone Battani and Silvana Citterio. This was the first five-star hotel in the westernmost municipality of Valle d’Aosta, located at an altitude of 1,441 metres near the French border and set against the backdrop of the Rutor Massif and the majestic Mont Blanc chain. To fit in with the wild, unspoilt nature of a mountain village that proudly maintains its traditions, the architects looked long and hard at the environmental impact that the new building with its three above-ground floors plus attic and basement would have on the natural landscape in terms of both energy consumption and aesthetics. While the innovative district heating system, the use of solar panels for hot water production, LED lighting and the use of high-insulation materials for the building envelope are just a few of the solutions adopted to improve sustainability, the choice of materials — such as wood combined with iron and Corten steel — was the key to the design project.
For the interior walls, the designers opted for wallpaper and a selected palette of colours for the plaster in which whites alternate with warm chocolate tones and tree motifs are widely used in place of wood. For the bedroom floors, the irregular oak planks are highlighted by white skirting. For the floors in the common areas, the designers chose Rockstone Grip from the Bluestone Evolution series, a dark grey stone with a distinctive scratched surface inspired by Belgian pierre bleue stone.
One of the highlights of the new hotel is the large spa, consisting of a swimming pool with a view looking out onto the surrounding landscape along with sauna, Turkish bath, vitarium for colour therapy and aromatherapy, a Rasul bath, massage rooms, relaxation areas and areas for private use by customers. While the bathrooms feature the use of Ultrawhite Kerlite3plus ultra-thin porcelain from the Black-White collection in an absolute white colour, the spa zone uses Kerlite5plus Materica in the Tortora version inspired by hand-trowelled concrete.
The choice of interior design items likewise reveals the search for a balance between sober lines and the appealing atmospheres of traditional Alpine furnishings. Examples include the rocking chairs, the tree trunk-effect bedside tables reinterpreted with the use of iron, the organically-shaped white lamps in the bedrooms, and the artisanal decorations such as the wooden curtain beams and white resin deer heads.
The hotel also hosts works by a number of contemporary artists. Part of the collection is renewed regularly, helping to maintain the idea of a vibrant establishment that is always able to offer its guests something new.
Cotto D'Este, Bluestone Evolution collection, Kerlite5plus Materica collection
100x300 cm,100x300 cm, 75x75 cm
Rockstone Grip - Pulpis - Tortora - Ultrawhite
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R 11 (Rockstone Grip)
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant