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Hotel expansion “Continuous Extension”

Repetitions and Variations on the Theme

Plasma Studio

Nestled at the end of a long valley north of Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy’s Trentino Alto Adige (South Tyrol) Region, the little town of Sesto, on the doorstep of Austria, faces the three magnificent peaks of the Lavaredo group. The splendid Dolomite mountain scenery and nearby ski pistes have long drawn tourists to the area where hotel facilities are a sedimented urban feature. Plasma Studio, a firm based in Sesto, but with offices today in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore, has helped drive the development and upgrade of tourist accommodation on their home turf with the expansion over several years of a small family-run business. The first extension was carried out in 2007; the last was completed only last year, in 2018. In all there were three, completely independent, building programs, each intervention a project unto itself with no overall masterplan. Yet despite the one-off character of the enlargements and renovations, the architects showed sufficient foresight to ensure that the three independent projects now fit together as one. Strata Hotel Located to the east of the small town, the original 1960s guesthouse offering mainly small self-contained apartments was entrusted by its owners to Plasma Studio for a makeover in 2007. A new volume was added on the northeast side of the original building. As well as taking into account local land use and building regulations, the linear distribution of the existing buildings in the area, and orientation to the sun and views, the new extension had to provide a topological response to the often picturesque design solutions adopted locally. The result was an extension with a series of overlapping levels in deference to the continuous horizontal lines that are the prevalent feature of the site topography. The result is an artificial entity in constant dialogue with its natural setting. The parapets wrapping around the volume seem to extend into the landscape, blurring the confines between the building and its...

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