How could we combine the historical appeal of the ancient times with current passions, such as design, food or wellness? This is an everlasting challenge here in Rome, where tourists come for its history, but they don’t want to renounce essential experiences and comforts. Studio Marincola Architects succeeds in this difficult challenge with its most recent project, the five-star hotel “The First Roma Dolce”, located in the main street Via del Corso. The hotel is part of the ambitious project of the hotel chain “The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts”, which also includes the hotels “The First Roma Arte” (already open) and “The First Roma Ego” (still under construction). Placed in the heart of the city center and connected by shuttle limousines, the three structures will be the poles of a sophisticated urban resort. Following the scattered hotel model, it will allow the guests to use all the available services in an exciting atmosphere, based on the three proposed themes: art, food, and wellness.
Specialized in luxury hotels and residences, Marincola Architects worked on two different levels for this project. On one side, they had to preserve and give value to the elegant architecture of the 17th-century building. It was made for the rich family Lezzani by the famous architect Giuseppe Valadier, who also designed Piazza del Popolo. On the other side, they wanted to create a luxury hotel characterized by the prohibited temptations of gluttony. The First Roma Dolce stands out for the presence of a pastry inside the hotel, a real lab for desserts, which attracts the hotel’s customers and people walking in Via del Corso. The pastry shop is indeed open to the public.
Facing the main shopping street Via del Corso, the building catches the eye thanks to its sculptural façade. It is enhanced by columns, half pilasters and a series of masks placed on the third-floor balcony. The well thought out lighting realized by the designers highlights every architectural detail and their historical value. On the façade, elegant planters decorate balconies and windows. A purple drape and a thin projecting roof, made of charcoal grey metal, mark the entrance of the hotel. Starting from here, a linear hallway leads to the staircases for the upper floors and to the elevator shaft. Entering the First Dolce also means to experience an emotional journey through mysterious symbols. On the hallway wall, an unexpected golden lightbox tells the story of the building and of its architect. It is composed of three glass layers, printed with graphic patterns and separated to create a 3D effect. Here, our imagination is inspired by historical quotes and ideal views of the Roman archaeology on a baroque sky. But the surprises are not over yet: at the end of the hallway, you can find a romantic winter garden. Closed among internal courts, it has a vault that can be opened and walls covered by a vertical green blanket.
The staircase of the building, with the original wrought-iron balustrades, leads to the main floor and the common areas: the reception, the meeting room, and the pastry shop. “For each floor, our main goal was to create intimate and cozy spaces” the architect Marincola stated. Therefore, they chose natural materials with warm colors, ranging from brown to cream. Dark Canaletto walnut panels have been used as wainscoting in the reception and lounge areas, while Emperador Light marble covers the door intrados. In the reception and in the lounge room, yellow Siena marble panels cut the wainscoting with a linear pattern. They are backlit and create a strong visual impact. The warm yellow shade has inspired the design of the hall chairs. It is harmonized with the beige carpet, which is custom-made with geometrical patterns and laid onto all the common areas.
On this floor, we can find the inspiring theme of the project: the pastry shop. Besides being part of our imagination, it is now a reality thanks to the choices of the designers. They used the yellow Siena marble reminding the caramel shades, while the Gina chairs and the Ella stools designed by Edra were inspired by its delicious arabesques.
Proceeding among themes and inspirations, on the upper floors the atmosphere changes. Wellness is the main theme inside the rooms and the suites, furnished with design furniture, chairs, and decorated with works of abstract art by the artist Licia Galizia. In all the 23 rooms of the hotel, the wellness triumphs through the suite-spa innovative concept. Colored sliding glass panels characterize the wellness area in every room. Covered in wood and black Saint Laurent marble with elegant orange grains, the bathrooms are the main protagonists here. They are provided with spa baths, steam baths, large mirrors, and wood slats false ceilings. Every suite is also provided with a gym area: exercise bikes and gym equipment can be used to get in shape after every genuine sin of gluttony.