Lilelo – Little Leisure Lodges is a hotel in the heart of Monferrato, Piedmont, that embodies a love for the local area
A young couple recently opened a hotel facility in the hills of Monferrato, Piedmont, naming it Lilelo or Little Leisure Lodges. Offering a relaxing, carefree stay, the accommodations are wooden cabins surrounded by vineyards that offer all the comforts of a hotel. This was a life goal for the two new business operators, who enlisted the architecture and interior design services of Atelier Lavit to achieve it.
As the owners explain, “Li stands for little, just like the little things that bring us joy; Le stands for leisure, rediscovering ‘me time’ and ‘we time’; Lo stands for lodge, that cozy tree house you’ve always wanted. Lilelo – Little Leisure Lodge – was born from our love of nature, beauty, and hospitality”. The project is also part of a design journey involving houses in trees and on water that the Parisian studio, led by Marco Lavit, has been pursuing for some time.
Located near the village of Grezzano Badoglio, Lilelo is an interesting take on glamping. It’s an ideal base for hiking or cycling excursions to discover the local area, experience its rich cultural and artistic heritage, and taste the local food and wine. Set in a landscape of vineyards and wooded areas, the facility comprises four independent cabins whose design was inspired by the image of traditional haystacks. Three of them house the suites, while the fourth is a common space.
The interior of the suites is organized as a continuum, with the breakfast nook near the deck leading to the sleeping area, which leads to the bathroom at the opposite end. The only door is to the toilet. The result is a refuge that ensures privacy, while also offering the option of entertaining other guests. The last cabin comprises a generous outdoor space and a large kitchen. It was conceived more as a meeting place than a reception area, and includes a large table where guests can sit together.
Designed with an eye on sustainability and energy efficiency using natural and eco-compatible materials, the cabins are raised off the ground, a construction approach that responds to the sloping land of the site. The architects also took up the challenge of using prefabricated elements but without resorting to standardization. These factors are reflected in the roof, an inverted V with two fully glazed triangular elevations, which also acts as a wall and a load-bearing structure. The lodges weren’t designed as closed volumes from which the openings were subtracted, but as a space created by three inclined surfaces, following the Japanese logic of working on levels.
With a rectangular plan measuring 20 x 30 ft (6x9 m) and a height of 17 ft (5.3 m), these little lodges are made of larch treated only with oil, a natural element that’s absorbed into the wood, enriching and nourishing it as it ages. Wood is also featured in the furnishings as well as the wall and floor finishes. The cabins therefore blend perfectly with their natural setting, almost as if they were camouflaged.
In the Lilelo project, windows (supplied by Graziano Serramenti) play a fundamental role from both the functional and aesthetic perspectives, bringing light as well as the landscape into the cabins. Thin windows, with handles and a simple, silent operating mechanism, were chosen to fit seamlessly into the wooden structure. The glass itself is a natural color, and not extra-clear, to make the most of its materiality. The windows therefore encourage a harmonious, almost symbiotic relationship between inside and out, which is the underlying aim of the entire project.
Location: Grazzano Badoglio, Asti
Architect: Atelier Lavit
Doors & Windows: Graziano Serramenti
Photography by Silvia Lavit / Daniel Mazza, courtesy of Atelier Lavit