A resort in harmony with nature
Alessio Princic - Princic & Partners
Golf clubs normally offer sports facilities and a clubhouse where members can relax and dine, but almost never a hotel. Now, however, this well-established format has been revolutionised by Gabriele Lualdi, who was appointed Chairman of Golf Club Udine in 2013. The 18 holes are harmoniously integrated into an 85 hectare golf course surrounded by oak and beech trees in the moraine hills of Fagagna, north-eastern Italy. So – Lualdi thought – why not create a facility where guests could practise their favourite sport while enjoying all the services of a resort, spa and medical centre? It would also be the perfect way to promote the Fagagna golf course, renowned as one of the best appointed in southern Europe. The result is the Villaverde Hotel & Resort, a 4-star Superior hotel that blends perfectly into the karst landscape. The resort has a total floor space of eight thousand square metres on four levels and is just a short drive off the main SP 116 road running between Fagagna and San Daniele. The large multifunctional lobby houses the reception along with waiting and relaxation areas, a restaurant and a lounge bar.
The large windows look out onto the lawn in front of the resort, and from there offer uninterrupted views over the golf course to the Julian Alps in the distance. Visitors are immediately struck by the astonishing black and white patterns on the ceiling, a 1,800 square metre artwork created by Giorgio Celiberti. An opening in the floor reveals a cantilevered staircase that leads down into the void below, a kind of fault line marked by strange glowing circles produced by a sequence of red cylinders. The stairs extend through the lower levels and come to an end twelve metres below in the Spa. Level -1 accommodates 34 guest rooms and suites bathed in light from a glazed wall, while the two lower levels house the areas devoted to physical and mental well-being. The Wellness Centre has seven treatment cubicles, two floating rooms, a two-lane 25-metre indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a whirlpool bath, a Turkish bath, a salt room, a Finnish sauna, an ice cascade and an emotional shower. The Medical Centre is equipped with rooms for minor surgery and general medical services as well as a fully-equipped gym with Technogym machines. The Villaverde Hotel is based on an industrial type structure with exposed beams. The grassed roof curves vertically and lengthwise, following the soft lines of the dunes that stand in front of the hotel. Key technological features include the geothermal air conditioning, the high-efficiency LED lighting and the photovoltaic system integrated into the ceiling beams in the car park. Architect Alessio Princic discussed some general aspects of the project. The resort pays tribute to the unique features of the Friuli region, he explained. The furnishings were supplied by leading local businesses, while local craftsmen, blacksmiths, carpenters and glassmakers were all engaged in the construction work. The colours are those of the Friuli countryside, mixed and recomposed in the studio. The materials, installation methods and colours were all studied and tested in detail. Some were invented by Princic himself, such as the zigzag-shaped electric blue tiles specially designed to improve the acoustics of the Meeting Room, while others perform a different function from the one for which they were originally intended. The Villaverde Resort is also a showcase for Italian ceramics, which were supplied by several different companies. One was Atlas Concorde with Marvel PRO marble-effect porcelain tiles, chosen in the colour Statuario Select for the bathrooms and Noir St Laurent for the Reception, Lounge Bar and exterior façades. Another was Ceramica Vogue with the TR Trasparenze Bisello collection in colour Mandarino for the walls of the lower-floor corridors and the BP Bump trim, Cobalto colour (Vogue Pool collection), used as pool edge in the indoor and outdoor pools.
Vogue, TR Trasparenze
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 1,5
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): G.B. min
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant