Icaro Hotel | MoDus Architects

Icaro Hotel | MoDus Architects


  • Project Name: Icaro Hotel
  • Practice: MoDus Architects
  • Products: Spenglerei Messner KG , Frehner Paul Stahlbau , Debowa KG , Maler Kritzinger GmbH , Moling Srl , Simonazzi GmbH , Nikolaus Bagnara Spa , Fliesenservice KG , Tip Top Fenster GmbH , Metek GmbH , Rubner Türen , Ludwig Rabanser SAS & CO , Tischlerei Malfertheiner OHG , Trias OHG – Firma Sedis GmbH , Firma Sedis GmbH , Winkler Gastro Solution , Elektro Nicolussi , Lichtstudio Eisenkeil GmbH , XAL Lights (lower level)
  • Completion year: 2021
  • Gross Built up Area: 5040 sqm
  • Project Location: Bolzano
  • Country: Italy
  • Lead Architects/Designer: Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol
  • Design Team: Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol, Filippo Pesavento
  • Clients: Angelika Sattler
  • Structural Consultants: Ing. Ulrich Kauer (KS Engineering)
  • Contractors: Mahlknechtbau AB GmbH
  • Collaborators: Ing. Kurt Tröbinger (KTB Engineering) (Mechinal and Electrical Engineer), Ing. Ulrich Kauer (KS Engineering) (Safety Engineer), Lichtstudio Eisenkeil (Lighting Consultant), HGV – Unternehmensberatung (Cost and Contract Management), Camuffolab, Venezia (Hotel Visual Identity), Anna Quinz and Kunigunde Weissenegger franzLAB, Bolzano (Hotel Communication Strategy)
  • Photo Credits: ©Gustav Willeit, Anna Quinz (Photo Stylist)
  • Others: Mulser Karl (Mechanical and Plumbing Installation), Elektro Nicolussi KG (Electrical Installation)
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Excerpt: Icaro Hotel is a refurbished hospitality design by the architectural firm MoDus Architects. 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. 

Project Description

[Text as submitted by the architects] At the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains and nestled within a web of ski slopes and hiking trails, MoDusArchitects has revamped Icaro Hotel as a stereometric volume in wood that quietly adds a new fragment to the built heritage of hospitality architecture of this unique protected area.

Exterior views © Gustav Willeit

Positioned on the Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm) plateau at 1900m 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. The various interventions include an underground parking extension, the separate staff quarters, a guest room addition, the reorganization of all common spaces, including the pool area, and the sweeping, giant order colonnade of wood along the main façade that intercepts the breathtaking mountain views.

site plan
first floor plan

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.

Wooden façade details © Gustav Willeit

The 13 branching wood columns 7.5 meters high that march down the 55m length of the south-facing facade and span over the two upper floors are structural elements that tie the roof into place and serve as a middle-ground frame through which guests measure themselves up against the architecture and the landscape. The first-floor terrace draws a straight line across the two far corners of the building to define an airy, double-height loggia that extends the interior spaces of the guest rooms outwards.

Exterior views © Gustav Willeit
Hall, Floor; ply oak wood planks. Ceiling; felt by Lanisor and yellow and white spruce wood moulding. Ceiling lights Dioscuri by Artemide © Gustav Willeit

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 colourful exchange between guests, visitors, and 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. 

Africa room: Chap coffee table with Palladio Moro marble by Miniforms. Burnt wood plate by Othmar Prenner. Botera sofa by Miniforms with MICA fabrics by Rohi. Lambswool blanket by Eagle Products. Drapery fabrics by Clarke&Clarke. © Gustav Willeit

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 moulding profile. In tandem with the overhead panelling, the braided texture of the oak planked flooring weaves together the mirrored angles of the hotel’s footprint in a quiet tête-à-tête between old and new.

Swimming pool area with outside view ©Gustav Willeit Appiani mosaic gloss tiles covered columns and floor. © Gustav Willeit

Embedded within the interiors of the hotel lie stories, family heirlooms, and a celebration of contemporary artistic endeavours and artisanal know-how. 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.

Reception area © Gustav Willeit

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 rooms’ intimacy 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.

Living area © Gustav Willeit

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 tranquillity. 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. 

Relax corner, swimming pool area © Gustav Willeit

The new garage makes for a car-free arrival area for the hotel and mitigates the hotel’s visual impact on the landscape. Lastly, at this basement level, MoDusArchitects has drawn up a whole new 2-story volume for the staff accommodations that take on the tones of the main house, in continuity with the grey plastered facade of the original ground floor elevation.

External concrete seating area © Gustav Willeit

An eclectic and lively place, Icaro Hotel is an alchemy of contemporary architecture, design, hospitality, tradition, art, craftsmanship and heritage. Each space is framed to bring forth the goodness and imagination that comes from travel and bolster the sense of discovery and freedom that alpine landscapes emote.

Seating area © Gustav Willeit

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