The flat, peri-urban landscape between Naples and Caserta is a conglomeration of disparate architectural structures, incoherent additions and those tightly packed farmlands found in much of Italy.
When Alberto Izzo & Partners set out to design a hotel in Gricignano di Aversa, near a highway off ramp and a military base, they deliberately sought to use the complex to weave relations to the local area and history, returning a sense of space and proportion.
As such, the local history and geography became guiding elements for the overall design.
The Matese mountains (to the north) and Vesuvius and Mt Somma (to the south) became more than just the horizon, forming landmarks to orientate the use of space. More locally, the building seeks to connect to the fragmented local landscape, drawing on the dominant elements, especially the orientation driven by the passing highway and link roads. At the same time, it seeks to forge a new type of space, in which proportions, connections and the relations between inside and outside, solids and voids, and material and light become fundamental.
Age-old shapes of rural buildings are evident in the hotel, with its simplicity and compositional clarity contrasting with the multiplicity and disorder that currently marks these lands. The result is a unique building characterized by high quality spatial and relational complexity.
By placing the hotel building on the northern section of the parcel, the designers extended the private, reserved areas that are so important in such a facility, ensuring they predominate over the more public hospitality zones. Physically, the complex has two linear volumes, one rising parallel to the road and the other parallel to a nearby office block, thus forging a formal and material dialogue between them. The resultant space between the two volumes of the hotel is used to create areas that balance an openness to the exterior with a sense of privacy and protection.
At the point where the two blocks intersect, a large cantilever shelter covers the main entrance.
Inside, the ground floor has a large lobby and public spaces - conference hall, bar and restaurant - with the upper three levels taken up by the hotel rooms, which are in three types and enjoy external views through their covered loggias. The latter create a regular geometric pattern on the brick façade with a play on solids and voids as the sun catches the projections and recesses, adding a dynamic feel and underscoring the design and lines of the architecture.
Location: Gricignano d’Aversa, Caserta Province
Gross Floor Area: 7,000 m2
Cost of Construction: 8,300,000.00 Euros
Architects: Alberto Izzo and Partners (Ferruccio Izzo)
Design Team: Maurizio D’Andrea, Stefano Gradogna
Structural: Pasquale Giancane
Plants: Maria Castaldo
Photography: © F64 Fotografi Associati
Alberto Izzo & Partners
In 1994, Ferruccio Izzo and his sister, Paola, teamed up with their father, Alberto, to create Alberto Izzo & Partners to ensure their father's great heritage of work, built over three decades, was not lost and continued into the future. The addition of new members to the team has helped form a coherent, complementary group that works on projects in Italy and abroad, for public and private clients. The practice has worked on many different projects, including historical buildings and old town centers. It has also taken part in international and national competitions, receiving awards and special mentions.