LOCATION Bonassola, La Spezia, Italy
YEAR 2013
THEME Architecture, Dwelling spaces, hotel
STATUS Project
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli, Tomaso Monestiroli
TEAM  Federica Cattaneo

For us, Levanto has always been the place of marble, a beautiful, red or green veined marble quarried in that area, a marble widely used in the peasant homes of the surrounding area to make the thresholds or shoulders of doors and windows but also used in the 1950s and 1960s in the middle-class homes of the cities of Liguria to line the floors and stairwell foyers. A marble also used to build the walls of the bold agricultural terraces of the Cinque Terre coast, as well as the embankments of the (now partially decommissioned) railroad that lines the coast. When we had the opportunity to design a hotel in Bonassola, in a place perched on a rocky ridge overlooking the sea, a place from which there is a view of the Mesco, a promontory bordering the bay of Levanto, we could not help but think of the rock and the marble of Levanto as two materials in continuity with each other, as if one arose from the other.

In an elongated lot, bordered by the road that climbs up the hillside, above an impervious and rugged rock, a series of L-shaped walls clad in green marble, polished to a shine, border the sloping terraces where the hotel’s ground floor overlooks, in which, in addition to the reception, a gymnasium, a restaurant, and common areas are located. On the upper floor the large rooms, all extended by a terrace covered by a painted wooden pergola, divided into blocks, are arranged so that they all have a view of the bay. The relationship with nature is the foundational element of the entire project.
The wall, with its cladding, tells of the transition from nature in its original state to nature processed to extract its most precious content. Above still a long wooden pergola, painted white, supports evergreen vegetation, rich in different essences. A shady path, built on the coast of the rock, directly overlooking the sea, which becomes the backbone of the whole composition. An axis that separates the reception area from the shared spaces. A bottom-up movement, from the rougher materiality of the rocks to the geometry of the pergola. Between the two extremes are the hotel’s large terraces, ennobled by walls clad in that gleaming marble. After all, this transition of matter from its original state to a geo-metric form can be understood as the allegory of a thought, from an indistinct beginning, that is composed and takes on a recognizable form. The succession of L-shaped walls, combined with the sloping terrain, constructs the collective outdoor places, always facing the surrounding landscape. Distributed by the central axis (as a kind of decumanus maximus) in succession meet the large outdoor swimming pool, the restaurant terrace and the roof garden that defines the extreme tip of the lot almost overlooking the sea. The long pergola built to cover the central axis is analogous to a long pier that extends from the beach toward the sea, offering a different viewpoint over the gulf. A striking promenade in a place of extraordinary beauty.


L. Cardani (edit by) Studio Monestiroli  Opere e progetti di Architettura Electa Milan 2021