Hotel Hubertus: caught between the sky and the earth
June 10, 2019
Studionoa* network of architecture, the winner of first prize in the “public and service construction” category in the 11th Edition of the Grand Prix for “Hotel Hubertus”, opts for Casalgrande Padana’s Amazzonia porcelain stoneware tiles.
Hotel Hubertus is situated at the foot of the famous Kronplatz skiing resort in the Pusteria Valley at an altitude of around 1.350 metres. As part of redevelopment and expansion works at the hotel, noa* network of architecture – founded by architects Lukas Rungger and Stefan Rier and specialising in hotel construction and renovation – opted for stone-effect porcelain stoneware tiles from the Amazzonia collection in the Dragon Black and Dragon Green colours for a total surface area of 2.700 square metres.
One of the unique challenges involved in the project was to maintain architectural coherence between the existing building and the new structure, in an attempt to create a feel of uniformity between the old and the new.
Much of the hotel was completely rebuilt as part of the work, which saw the addition of 16 new suites, a new kitchen with restaurants and traditional stube parlour rooms, an entrance hall with lobby, a reception area, a wine cellar, a gym and a relaxation area featuring terraces with panoramic views.
For the interiors, noa* opted for the Dragon Green and Dragon Black colours from the Amazzonia collection. The 30x60 and 60x60 cm (11 3/4"x23 5/8" - 23 5/8"x23 5/8") formats were chosen to help create spaces which feel complete yet flow into one another.
However, the most significant part of the project was the new swimming pool. A triumph of engineering and architecture, the pool – with dimensions of 25 metres in length, five metres in width and 1.63 metres in depth – is suspended 17 metres off the ground at its highest point, supported by huge wooden beams.
The new panoramic pool: between sky and earth
Completely tiled with porcelain stoneware tiles from the Amazzonia collection, the enchanting infinity pool seems suspended between the sky and the earth, looking out over the Dolomites valley below. The stone effect of the porcelain stoneware tiles in the Dragon Black colour works wonderfully with the stunning natural surroundings of the mountains, merging seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.
A high-impact presence in the magical panorama of the Pusteria Valley, the infinity pool juts out over the void, supported by four metal joists clad with wood.
The walls of the swimming pool – which are covered with porcelain stoneware tiles – and the larch supports help the structure to blend in with the surrounding landscape, like a natural lake. Standing at the foot of a mountain, it is utterly immersed in the splendid, magical surroundings of the Dolomites.
Like a mountain lake
Suspended 12 metres off the ground at the far end, swimmers have the impression of floating in mid-air – a sensation amplified by the glass front wall and a small section of the bottom also in transparent glass. The window – which is situated towards the far end of the pool – allows swimmers to see straight through, adding a further level of spectacle to a truly unique structure.
Following the curves of the building, new powder-coated metal railings with perforated grills have replaced the old wooden railings, mirroring the colour of the surrounding area.
noa* network of architecture made great effort to get a feel for the area and try to incorporate its special spirit into the project. With these principles as the guiding force, the aim of the project was to bring a new identity to the structure by building on the characteristics of the existing hotel. Studio Noa was determined to respect the unspoilt natural surroundings and local traditions while staying to its signature innovative style. Every element of the existing structure was revisited and rebalanced with the modern structure, as part of an endless dialogue with the surrounding landscape.
Photos: Alex Filz