Designed by Patricia Urquiola and hotelier Luis Contreras, Lake Como’s highly anticipated new Penthouse is inspired by Post-War Italian Glamour, ‘La Dolce Vita’, Modernist Italian Designers and Como Silks.
Il Sereno, a contemporary icon of Lake Como and one of the most celebrated hotel launches of the 21st century, will launch the latest development in its evolution with a new Penthouse Suite in June 2021. Famed architect Patricia Urquiola and hotelier Luis Contreras, named the ‘super-duo’ by Wallpaper*, have joined forces yet again and aim to top their creations to-date by making what local newspaper La Provincia di Como has called “the best Penthouse in the world.” Having won coveted awards across the globe since it launched in 2016, including a Michelin Star in its first year, Il Sereno continues to serve as a game-changing hotel for a previously neo-classically dominated region.
The existing Penthouse has consistently been rated among the best in the world, however the duo wanted to surpass this with their new vision. While the design is inspired by Il Sereno, with the same materials, artisans and proportions, the new Penthouse concept is totally unique. The interiors are inspired by classic post-war Italian glamour, ‘La Dolce Vita’, modernist Italian designers, the much-loved Como silks for which the region is famous, and the iconic design of Il Sereno itself.
The choice of furniture is a tribute to the emblematic pieces of Italian design, the tradition of their local production and the architecture of the post-war years. This will include a mixture of new, bespoke pieces by Patricia Urquiola, as well as some of her latest design projects such as the Fat-Fat Sofa from B&B Italia designed for Il Sereno and classics from the likes of Franco Albini and Gio Ponti.
Like Il Sereno, the Penthouse design will be timeless, with a strong sense of place and use of natural materials from the region. The Penthouse will showcase an innovative use of rich materials, including fantastic Canaletto walnut ceilings, Palissandro Blu stone walls and Ceppo di Gre local stone floors. Since the opening of the hotel, which uses Ceppo di Gre for the façade and throughout the hotel, designers such as Valentino, Max Mara and Bally have been inspired to use this rarely seen stone. Here, it will be incorporated in an innovative way: Venetian terrazzo floors will be combined with geometric tiles of Ceppo for a new yet classic look. The bedroom wall is also made of Ceppo, specially grooved to provide additional texture. Another local stone, the rich and green Verdi Alpi, covers the living room wall.
With Como being the first place in the Western world where silks were woven after Marco Polo brought them over from China, and still the world’s center for high-end production, this beautiful fabric is celebrated within the design. Urquiola-designed silks are already used for the uniforms in existing hotels and here, additional patterns are used to produce decorative cushions, foulards and other products on sale. Fabrics take inspiration from 1950s scarf fashion and the landscape motifs of Lake Como.
Accessed by a separate elevator, there will be approximately 1,600 square-feet of living space, including a 320 square-foot terrace, plus an additional 538 square-feet of grass garden around the parameter. There is a large living room with dining space, two bathrooms and main bedroom, sleeping up to four.
Leading French botanist Patrick Blanc has also returned to Il Sereno to design a vertical garden which will appear on the new building’s façade below the suite. After executing three pieces in the exiting hotel (Le Canyon, Les Racines Echasses and Le Mirroir du Lac), Blanc will once again design a living wall that will be seen from the lake and interact with the façade of the building and the neighboring Mirroir du Lac.
The brand ethos of Sereno Hotels is always to amplify the beautiful surroundings the hotels are situated in. And here, an important design aspect is the framing of the panoramic views on all sides from the suite, the atmosphere of life on the lake and the omnipresent relationship with the lake in front and the mountain behind the hotel.
Contreras purchased the land while construction of the existing hotel was taking place and it took years to obtain permits and finalize the design. Paradoxically, it was the Covid-19 crisis and forced hotel closure that expedited the project. The original plan was to build only during winter, when the hotel was closed so as not to bother guests, leading to three or four years to complete construction. Instead, construction will have concluded just 18 months after breaking ground in November 2019.
The new Penthouse Suite is priced from €3500 (approx. $4,214) per night for the 2021 season.
To book or learn more information, visit www.ilsereno.com.