Monteborre, a boutique hotel immersed in the countryside near Cento
Andrea Bernagozzi (Officinarkitettura)
Stefano Giorgi - Monteborre
A nineteenth-century historic building set amongst vineyards and nature reserves in the countryside near the northern Italian town of Cento provided the starting point for a project to create a boutique hotel with a spa.
The remodelling project, completed in 2018, involved the entire Monteborre complex consisting of two buildings, Palazzo Monteborre itself and an outhouse or Casella used in times past as a horse stable and barn.
«The initial idea was to convert the two buildings into a family home, but given the size of the property and the fact that having such large homes is not so practical today, the decision was taken to use the two buildings to generate income,» explained Stefano Giorgi, Fashion Designer and part owner of the property. Once the overall concept of the design had been chosen, the process of renovation began in collaboration with the young design firm Officinarkitettura.
As for the distribution and intended use of the spaces, the ground floor of the main building houses a reception and relaxation area dominated by the large historic fireplace as well as a spa complete with sauna and emotional shower. The upper floor houses the guest rooms Bologna, Ferrara and Modena while the attic features the suites Venezia and Firenze. Exiting the Palazzo, we reach the Casella by taking a short walk through the garden, where the blue water of the swimming pool contrasts with the green of the rows of vines and the surrounding countryside. The Casella, renovated in keeping with its rural style, has a ground floor breakfast area which opens onto the exterior to create an outdoor space that guests can use in the summer months. Here too, the upper floor is devoted to hospitality with a further two bedrooms (Verona and Mantova), the latter designed for long stays and the only one with a kitchen and closet.
«The conversion project maintained the rural nature of the original agricultural buildings without altering their structural characteristics, including ceiling arches, wooden beams and hollow clay tiles. The bulk of the work involved the Palazzo, where the biggest difficulties arose from the obligatory dimensions of the kitchen and pantry. This forced us to completely transform the design of the gym and spa, which we had originally planned to build where the breakfast room is now located,» continued Stefano Giorgi. The decisions regarding the surface coverings were made at a later time. «I had initially planned to install wood floors everywhere as I considered parquet to be one of the key materials of the project. But after looking at many different ideas and visiting building trade fairs, I changed my mind and opted for porcelain tile.» The process of choosing the collections began with a meeting with ABK and a chat with designer Andrea Bernagozzi from Officinarkitettura.
The choice fell on the Crossroad collection from ABK, a porcelain tile inspired by several different natural materials that can be used in a variety of combinations. In particular, the Wood, Chalk and Brick versions were chosen for this project. The Interno 9 series with its metallic effects was also used extensively. «I really fell for ABK materials and even chose large-size sand coloured porcelain tile for the suites,» concluded Stefano Giorgi.
ABK - Crossroad e Interno 9
120x120, 80x80,20x120, 26x200, 7,5x30
Sand, Amber, Rust, ClaySage, Blu, Sand, Smoke
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,3%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GA / GLA
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 45 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 classe A
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant