INVISIBLE ROOMS BY NERI & HU
A temporary hotel in Milan curated by Elle Decor Italia
On the occasion of the Milan Fall Design Week 2018, Valextra has been collaborating as partner for Elle Decor Grand Hotel — INVISIBLE ROOMS, an exhibition/installation that takes its inspiration from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino at Palazzo Morando | Costume Moda Immagine from 5 to 21 October, designed by Neri&Hu Design and Research Office.
Elle Decor Grand Hotel started out in 2016 thanks to an idea from Elle Decor Italia, the international magazine of design and trends, with the aim of reflecting on the constant evolution of the concept of the hospitality industry and enabling visitors to experience the new demands and functions related to it through unexpected and immersive situations.
“In the first edition in 2016, we worked on two concepts developed by Piero Lissoni in the Hôtel Particulier and Patricia Urquiola in the Stanzas in a grand hotel that joined the public reception areas to the private ones of the guest rooms. In the second, in 2017, the Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel studio created The Open House, defining a public hotel format and investigating the new opportunities and functions of public spaces. With Invisible Rooms by Neri&Hu, we wanted to turn the point of view on its head and take advantage of the culture of a cosmopolitan Asian studio for an unprecedented reflection on the concept of a hotel,” explains Livia Peraldo Matton, editor-in-chief of Elle Decor Italia.
For the Invisible Rooms concept, architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, who have designed Valextra's boutique in Chengdu, took their inspiration from the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972) and, just as Marco Polo groups the cities he has explored into categories to describe them to Kublai Khan, they have divided the hotel into nine rooms, linking each one to the concept of hospitality and questioning the current concept of the hotel industry.
Calvino’s novel becomes the opportunity for Neri&Hu to create a fantasy world inside a historic building with the intention to amaze 21st-century travelers thanks to the narration, developed at a visual, functional and emotional level, perfectly integrated with the sequence of the environments. From the lounge populated with indoor greenery to the restaurant for the ideal shared banquet. From the suite overlooking the street to the cinema room where visitors can sit like they used to do in Chinese courtyards or on farmyards in Lombardy. Finally reaching the courtyard, where you can find the sky and the memory of the city. Along the way, visitors can experience the assistance offered to guests by technological devices with a discreet presence.
Elle Decor Grand Hotel — Invisible Rooms offers an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in an atmosphere where the splendor of the East meets the reality of the West, to experience an innovative menu in the restaurant, to stop for a cup of tea prepared oriental-style, for a classic aperitif with a new twist or for breakfast al fresco at the Outdoor Bar.
Founded in 2004 by partners Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office is an interdisciplinary architectural design practice based in Shanghai, with an additional design office in London. The duo has recently worked on the remarkable project of Valextra's boutique in Chengdu, China.