Design Club Branded Apartments - Bologna

A living design experience in Bologna

A Renaissance building converted into a contemporary-style guest house reflects a new hospitality culture focused on the choice of materials and the spirit of Italian ceramic tiles
Laura Ragazzola
Enrico Montanari
Iosa Ghini Associati

Located in the heart of Bologna just a few minutes‘ walk from Piazza Maggiore and the city’s iconic twin mediaeval towers, an elegant Renaissance building has been completely remodelled as part of an urban regeneration project that showed a high degree of sensitivity towards the city’s historic context. The result is a unique accommodation facility called the Design Club Branded Apartments, 35 new apartments that offer a contemporary interpretation of the culture of hospitality.
The two thousand square metre historic building has been entirely refurbished with a focus on design as a synonym for quality and liveability. This innovative concept involved transforming an interior into „a unique macro living space“, explains architect Massimo Iosa Ghini, creator of the project and a global ambassador of Italian design with thirty years of experience in the residential and hospitality sectors.
„I consider our branded apartments to be a new design product,“ explains the Bolognese designer. „We proposed a complete living module consisting of all the furnishing elements of Quality Italian Design to create a living space with unique value.“ In this approach, design is used as a tool for creativity and innovation.
The apartments extend over the four floors of the building and differ in terms of size, layout and stylistic choices. The styles range from Industrial, recreating the airiness of a metropolitan loft, to Eco-chic, more intimate and reassuring and based entirely on natural materials; from the classic and timeless Luxury style, with exclusive terraces looking out over the city’s rooftops, to the Business Style, smaller in size but highly functional in terms of the arrangement of spaces and furnishings; and from the adrenaline-fuelled Red Racing style, where the colours and multi-level spaces create a sensation of intense energy, to the relaxed Elegante style with warm tones and cosy, comfortable spaces. The practice Iosa Ghini Associati was responsible for the entire interior design project (all the furnishings are custom designed), with the exception of a few design objects created by great masters of Italian and international design.
Design also played an important role in the choice of materials, including porcelain tiles that combine aesthetics with technological innovation. Specifically, five collections from the La Fabbrica brand were chosen for their ability to maintain the perfect balance between old and new, between appeal and personality that inspired the entire interior design project. The Ca‘ Foscari and Kauri collections recreate the warmth of wood, reproducing the texture, size (20×120 cm) and herringbone installation patterns typical of Renaissance buildings. By contrast, the Lascaux, Resine and Agora collections, chosen to enhance the look of the most metropolitan apartments, capture the contemporary aesthetic of concrete but soften the material’s harsh visual impact through the choice of warm colour tones and large sizes (60×60 cm, 40×80 cm and 60×120 cm).
Last but not least, the design project maintains a strong connection with the past. This is reflected in the splendid architectural elements and materials that have been skilfully restored and serve as a backdrop to the new residences: the magnificent staircase that winds its way up the building’s four floors (although the installation of a new lift has made it easier to move between floors), the polychromatic marble on the walls, the spacious lobby with its vaulted ceilings and the elegant terrazzo-style flooring in the common areas.

La Fabbrica - Agorà, Lascaux, Resine, Ca' Foscari e Kauri
porcelain stoneware
60x120 - 60x60 - 20x120 cm
Technische Eigenschaften
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): conforme
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
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