Designed by MoDusArchitects, the revitalization of a mid-1930s alpine hotel, enclosed in a wooden frame, juxtaposes with elegance the snowy scenery of Dolomites with the building’s wooden element.
The project will be completed in two phases, the first phase of the building, contains a staff building, a swimming pool, and an underground parking garage.
The second phase includes the east wing with 8 guest rooms, ground floor interiors renovation, a new roof, and facade to take the breathtaking mountain views.
Icaro Hotel emerges as a blending of art, design, and architecture with an alpine heritage landscape.
Distinguished with a stereometric volume in wood, the two-story hotel quietly adds a new fragment to the built heritage of hospitality architecture of this unique protected area.
Positioned on the Alpe di Siusi plateau at 1.900m above sea level and set within South Tyrol’s Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage site, the hotel’s humble origins date back to a simple 1930s mountain lodge.
In plan, the new addition mirrors the existing west wing along the axis of the original lodge to forge a symmetry of parts to the whole relationship.
On the outside, the thickened saw-toothed larch-wood skin, together with the large pitched wooden roof and the timber columns, constitute an ordering system that subsumes the myriad of past modifications into a cohesive architectural body.
At the ground level, down the length of the building, a clearly defined throughway unravels a succession of common areas: entry, reception, shop, lounge, bar, and dining hall all participate in the colorful exchange between guests, visitors, outdoor enthusiasts, and the Sattler family.
The eclectic convergence of materials, textures, and fixed furniture elements string the programs together and rescripts the collective memory of traditional alpine interior spaces.
While the wood-lined dining alcoves with banquette seating conjure up the hospitality of long-established lodge interiors, the monolithic, cloudy-grey marble of the buffet table and bar counter anchor the defining moments of gastronomical delight at the center of this spatial continuum.
Similarly, the characteristic coffering of the alpine wood stube (the traditional, stove-heated farmhouse living room) is revisited with an all-enveloping surface of acoustic-felt panels partitioned by a notched, intersecting yellow molding profile.
Together with the overhead paneling, the braided texture of the oak planked flooring weaves together the mirrored angles of the hotel’s footprint in a subtle confrontation between old and new.
The reception, shop, and lounge area are designed as a full-height, thickened wainscoting of oak panels and deep blue recesses that collect a disparate range of subjects much like a cabinet of curiosities.
From the main staircase at the circulation core of the hotel, visitors access the guest rooms, including the four new rooms distributed on each of the two upper levels of the East wing.
As evidenced by their names, the Monocular and Telescope rooms are viewing devices that inextricably link the intimacy of the rooms to the expanse of the landscape beyond.
The rooms are shaped by angled cabinetry elmwood walls that contain wardrobes, upholstered niches, powder rooms, and hidden shower rooms.
At either end of these two rooms lie the Lux and Grandangolo whose wider scope settings accommodate up to four guests and feature custom-made beds facing the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Alpe di Siusi.
Several suites on the second level were adapted to accommodate the new roof while a new massage area with a sheltered yoga terrace was added to this level.
At the lower level, the swimming pool area makes the most of the change in grade and is entirely reconfigured to accommodate a new pool in direct connection with the outdoor spaces.
The numerous, existing structural supports found at this level are regimented into a robust procession of tiled columns that transform a formerly compromised space into one of tranquility.
Between the existing sauna and the new pool, a portion of the relaxation zone is redesigned to afford a higher level of privacy with a cast-in-place concrete wall clad in the recognizable frames of wooden profiles that feature insertions of “crying,” melted wax—an artistic installation by Hubert Kostner in an interpretation of the mythological story of Icarus.
The lower level is a labyrinthine plan of service functions that support the workings of the hotel above but with the addition of the underground garage, this level also becomes a new point of entry.
MoDusArchitects worked to carve out a clear circulation route from the parking to the vertical circulation core with the requested programs of ski room and e-bike charging stations along the way.
The new garage not only makes for a car-free arrival area for the hotel but also mitigates the visual impact of the hotel within the landscape.
At the same level, MoDusArchitects has drawn up a whole new two-story volume for the staff accommodations that take on the tones of the main house, in continuity with the gray plastered facade of the original ground floor elevation.
The project is framed to bring forth all of the goodness and imagination that comes out of travel and to bolster the sense of discovery and freedom that alpine landscapes emote.
Project: Icaro Hotel
Lead Architects: Sandy Attia and Matteo Scagnol
Design Team: Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol, and Filippo Pesavento
Client: Angelika Sattler
Photographers: Gustav Willeit