Sustainable, camouflaged and immersed in natural beauty in the Dolomites

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The Olympic SPA Hotel blends perfectly into the landscape thanks to its semi-underground design by NOA architecture firm

The NOA architecture firm can claim not only to have brought the benefits of modern architecture into a mountain context but also, and above all, to have kept faith with the holistic approach common to all its projects. This philosophy is clear once again in the extension to the Olympic SPA Hotel at Vigo di Fassa, in the Trentino-South Tyrol, a camouflaged development in which the contact with the surrounding environment is even more symbiotic.

The structure of the new building, perfectly integrated with the existing hotel – ten rooms and a gym – repeats the outline of the mountains themselves, its height rising to two floors in the suite and then gradually sinking to less than nothing in the underground portion, with its grass-covered roof over the last rooms and the gym, reinforcing the concept of total immersion in nature that underpins the entire project.

Inside, each of the four rooms on the Forest – Te Bosch – theme has a patio with glazed walls which seem to enable direct contact with the light, water, sky and greenery but above all give guests the impression they are outdoors when having a shower.

The five rooms on the Water – Te Aga – theme each contain an artificial spring fed by pure water from a real spring at 3500 metres above sea level. The sauna building, another new addition, blends into the forest; a raised construction overlooking the treetops, it is only accessible via an outdoor walkway.

The carefully chosen materials also help to reinforce the symbiosis with the landscape. The rough grey rendering on the outside walls evokes the harsh rock faces of the Dolomites, the knotted oak wood furnishings reference the Alpine tradition and the entire color scheme alternates light shades with greens in a continual visual dialogue with the outdoor world. 

In achieving the overall harmony, “the bathroom had to be the unifying feature, common to both types of rooms,” NOA told us, “so we needed a stone-effect tile in warm shades which would fit into both styles, Forest and Water, and give the interiors a natural mood. We found the Realstone_Argent collection perfect for this role”.

The collection was also used for covering the floor of the sauna of the suite.

This stone-look stoneware series, manufactured by Ragno and chosen here in Miele Naturale variant, proved ideal not only due to its well known aesthetic appeal, its undeniable technical characteristics and its many environmental certifications, which place it amongst the most sustainable products, but also because it conveys the impressions of comfort, softness, timelessness and wellbeing that NOA wanted the materials to communicate.

Visually striking with its minimal texture, the collection is used here in the 60×120 cm size, which gives a uniform pattern to the interior. Featuring the StepWise technology, it provides a high degree of slip resistance, definitely important in a location like a hotel bathroom or sauna.

Photo credits: Alex Filz