A return to Art Nouveau
Arnaldo Dal Bosco
Styles inspired by the history of architecture provide Studio Lucchese with a wide range of solutions and ideas for contemporary trends. One such case is the floral concept traditionally associated with the Art Nouveau period which has been revisited in the design of the new Les Fleurs hotel in Sofia. The project involved the functional conversion of the Alexander Building, one of the first modern buildings to have been constructed in the Bulgarian capital’s old city centre and home to shops and tertiary businesses located on eight above-ground floors and two basement floors. The Les Fleurs hotel has 31 rooms, a restaurant and fashionable boutiques in a unique and exclusive atmosphere characterised by large fields of colour that decorate floors and walls and large coloured flower mosaics, both inside and outside. «The floral style is revived and reinterpreted in our project with the intention of giving the building a natural, fluid, dynamic and colourful appearance in contrast to the cold and sterile atmosphere of the previous structure. This formed the basis for the name and logo of the new Les Fleurs hotel» .
In addition to the functional references of the past, Lucchese succeeded in enhancing the aesthetics through the addition of sensorial, emotive qualities that devote special attention to colour. In the Les Fleurs project the cold technical appearance of the existing building, created by the exclusive use of aluminium and glass on the façade, was no longer appropriate for the new function of a hospitality venue. To cater for this new requirement, «the hotel structure was clad in a new skin’ capable of projecting an image of the building’s new role and inner life».
The floral theme extends to the physical and colour definition of the built spaces. Each room has a floral theme, every one of which differs from the others in terms of layout, dimensions, morphology, materials, colours and design. The use of curved plasterboard walls, in some cases angled, have given the spaces the requisite dynamism and fluidity. The spaces are thus rendered more distinctive and complex through a play of concave and convex shapes accentuated by the use of TREND decorative mosaics based on specific themes for each space, dynamic waves that figuratively delineate the shapes of specific flowers, from the rose to the tulip. The floral leitmotiv developed by Studio Lucchese is brought to life by the Karma series from Trend and the mixtures of Vitreo, Brillante and Shining mosaics. Karma, the exclusive glass wall covering designed by Trend, enhances colour depth through vibrant light effects. Inspired by the intense luminosity of stained-glass windows in Gothic cathedrals, Karma blends the traditional and modern through the application of a silver-coated sheet to the rear side of the glass mosaic pieces, hand cut in numerous sizes from 2×2 cm through to a large 48×96 cm format. The Brillante collection transparent glass mosaics feature adventurine and glaze veins and come in an astonishing colour palette to allow for numerous tonal combinations.
Right from the outset, this concept was applied to the entire external envelope of the building by means of a special film that filters natural and artificial light to achieve striking visual effects. Based on an exclusive design by Studio Lucchese, 3M created films for application to building facades that interact with artificial light to create stunning effects, especially at night. The lighting design of the external facades complements the dramatic appeal of the external envelope even during the hours of darkness.
Trend, Karma - Vitreo - Brillante - Shining series
cm 2 x 2
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant