In the soaring mountains of South Tyrol, Milan-based architect Matteo Thun – being a South Tyrolean himself by birth – has created an environmentally minded mountain hideaway that perfectly illustrates his idea of “getting away from it all”: Utter tranquillity.
The vigilius mountain resort can only be reached by travelling up 1,500 meters by cable car and affords views of vineyards and apple farms, near the town of Bolzano. Keeping with his philosophy of blending his architecture into the context of its surroundings, Matteo Thun has used wood and glass in a style that aims to shrink the different between architecture and nature to a near imperceptible nuance. True to Studio Thun’s ecologically friendly approach to design, vigilius mountain resort is built with energy and nature conservation firmly rooted in the founding ethos: The roof being covered in grass and local wood used for heating are two very practical yet equally aesthetically pleasing solutions to fulfilling these laudable aims. An attractive stylistic mix of unpolished silver quartz floors, on which sofas covered in black and white spotted cow hides have been well placed in the reception area. A chandelier made up of deer antlers greets the guest upon arrival, after which the unmistakably modern orange hue of the reception area beckons, glowing beyond a translucent partition.
Embracing the new wholeheartedly has lead to doing away with almost all remnants of the original late 19th century structure – save for a cosy tile-covered oven. Internally heated stone partitions in the design hotel’s 41 rooms warm the interiors in the most efficient and pleasant way possible. A unique sensory experience is created by the use of the naturally scented larch wood throughout – that has been painstakingly crafted to achieve three different finishes: Floors are covered in roughly patterned larch, a fine grain has been used for all panelling and finishes, and a fluted look for the doors. All guestrooms face either east or west, but always to the outside – that is brought even closer by floor-to-ceiling windows leading on to generous balconies. Not even a single piece of art on the walls distracts your personal dialogue with nature. Matteo Thun’s ability to find the perfect transition from the traditional to the modern simply reinforces the feeling that vigilius is a perfectly organic extension of the ancient mountain on which it is perched.
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