Relaxing by the lake
Located at the northernmost end of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland, Minusio is one of a group of sun-soaked villages encountered by visitors as they drive to Locarno from Lugano or Bellinzona. This lakeside village of just over 7,000 inhabitants has been a relaxing holiday resort for centuries and extends down the mountainside like a colourful tapestry as far as the waters of Lake Maggiore. Along with parks, villas and stately houses that have hosted famous personalities such as the anarchists Mikhail Bakunin and Carlo Cafiero and the painter and poet Elisar von Kupffer, it is also home to the recently opened luxury Cedrus Residence. With its sober, neo-modernist style, successful integration with the landscape and breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, the residence consists of four independent blocks (with a total of 21 customisable and fully automated apartments) and a shared wellness and spa area. This space features an indoor swimming pool in an irresistible location under a sloping wooden roof and a large panoramic terrace with an infinity pool and several gazebos where guests can relax and enjoy every moment of the summer.
The architecture of the complex was supervised by the general contractor Studiogest Investment & Real Estate, while most of the interiors were designed by Sabrina Cherubin, an architect and lighting designer with a well-established practice in Milan. She has a gift for capturing the mood of places and combining it with the desires and needs of clients so as to give the overall project a unique identity and, above all, a soul. «It was a very exciting project,» she says. «The situation itself offered many ideas: the atmosphere, the lighting, the context, the reflections on the materials, the scale of the work which mainly involved the wellness and spa area, a large communal space featuring aromatic/therapeutic showers, a sauna, a Turkish bath, treatment rooms, a relaxation area, a fitness room with Technogym equipment, and an indoor swimming pool along with a series of access and connecting corridors and an outdoor pool. One of the key aspects that attracted my attention and that of my firm was the interaction between the interior and the spectacular exterior. Given the sense of relaxing beauty, we decided to allow the landscape to penetrate as far as possible into the wellness space and in a certain sense to be reflected in the materials and colours.» This led to the choice of the very large windows, which also play a key role in the lighting design (a longstanding area of specialisation of Sabrina Cherubin), and the choice of materials for the surface coverings: the warm wood on the ceiling, the metal of the arch-shaped fountain cascading into the pool, the stone cut in different sizes to clad the back wall of the swimming pool area with its strikingly irregular and slightly three-dimensional installation pattern, and finally the porcelain tiles for the floors, specifically the Walks/1.0 collection from Floor Gres (Made in Florim). «This collection has one big advantage,» explains the architect. «Aesthetically, porcelain stoneware provides a perfect reproduction of quartzite, the type of metamorphic rock that served as my inspiration for the location, but at the same time it achieves much higher levels of performance in terms of durability and resistance without any oxidation.» Sabrina Cherubin used this material with skill and sensibility, exploiting its colour tones to achieve the best possible match with the interior palette and the colours of the surrounding countryside. For the outdoor spaces, the architect chose large-size slabs in various modules with a distinctly stone-like Gray finish («normal size tiles would have had an excessive visual impact», she says) and thicknesses, laid with a customised layout to create a rigorous yet dynamic pattern, while the indoor spaces are tiled with the White version which provides significant slip resistance.
Last but not least, the lighting design uses a harmonious combination of natural and artificial light that enhances the subtle volumetric and sculptural surface vibes. «I wanted a soft, discreet, warm light in colour tones ranging from reddish, orange and yellow through to a warm white. explains the architect. «I wanted the light to accentuate as much as possible the sensation of wellbeing and relaxation typical of a spa centre, while emphasising the visual and tactile sensorial qualities of the materials.» In short, it is the perfect complement to an inspired project that captures the sense of place and enhances the perception of well-being.
Floor Gres, Walks/1.0
40x80 60x60 40x120 60x120 80x240 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): average value 0,08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): average value 140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): average value 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 SOFT, R11 NATURALE
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme