Hotel Gfell

noa* network of architecture sought for Hotel Gfell’s design and experience to be a continuous dialogue between hospitality and nature that gives the latter a starring role.

  • area / size 21,527 sqft
  • rooms 17
  • Year 2020
  • Type Hotel,
  • The Gfell hotel, which is adjacent to the pre-existing Schönblick restaurant, sits alone just a stone’s throw from the village of Fiè allo Sciliar, on top of a slope that provides views over unspoiled forests and meadows. The owner was aiming to coordinate this restoration project with top quality accommodation, building new spaces able to enhance the distinctiveness of the location.

    The Barn Coming Back to Life
    It is meaningful that access to the new spaces takes place through an old barn which sits by the restaurant. The outside of the building has preserved its traditional look thanks to careful restoration works, but the inside holds a surprise for visitors: it has been fully converted to host the hotel’s reception, a lounge and breakfast hall within one large open- space area.

    It is an uncommon yet effective design solution from both an environmental and architectural point of view; on the one hand, it repurposes the existing level, deeply- rooted in the heritage and land of the local alpine community; and on the other hand, it breathes new life into a building that would otherwise be neglected or left to decay, transforming it into a place of discovery and surprise.

    The Hotel: Hypogeal and Sustainable
    The new building is developed on two underground levels, which follow the land’s natural slope. Its architecture is almost cancelled out in order to allow for the natural scenery to be read with no interruptions.

    For noa*, hospitality is about (and in this project more so than ever) continuously seeking out dialogue with nature and providing the latter with the starring role. There are 17 new rooms, complemented by a wellness area with a sauna and relaxation area.

    Going down a staircase from the barn, we enter the lower level which provides access to the new rooms; all of the rooms are the same on both levels (-1 and -2) and are amazing in terms of their features and size. On entering, a wooden entry-type hall (concealing the wardrobes) leads to a bright, open space (25 square metres). The model is that of the suite, with an open bathroom area (except for the toilet and bidet) designed with stone- effect tiles which break up the colour uniformity of the durmast wood chosen for the flooring in the room, whilst a white ceramic vessel sink revokes the traditional country basin in terms of its shape. All the furniture is custom designed in light and natural tones. But most importantly, in each room there is a huge glass window (measuring 4.8 metres in length) that coincides with the façade, showcasing a thrilling view.

    Design: noa* network of architecture
    Photography: Alex Filz