Projects

Pietre Gemelle Resort wellness & spa - Riva Valdobbia (Vc)

An enchanting getaway

In one of the most spectacular locations anywhere in the Alps, the Pietre Gemelle resort boasts a wellness centre that combines care for the body with a feast for the eyes
Author
Elena Pasoli
Photos
Paolo Stroppa
Architect
Davide Gavinelli
Surfaces
FLOOR GRES
Year of completion
2014

“There I saw above me the dark sky, and the sun as it fell on the mountains was far brighter here than in the plains below”: the majesty of Monte Rosa, described so eloquently by Leonardo da Vinci, can be admired in all its splendour from Riva Valdobbia, a small village of 250 inhabitants located in Val Grande, the main valley of the Valsesia. In this place blessed with uniquely lush and wild nature, celebrated in the literature of all ages, legend has it that a boulder rolled down the mountainside and on the impact with the bottom of the valley split into two identical parts, which appeared to look each other in the face. These “twin” stones that stand along the main road near the river Sesia give their name to a splendid resort designed by architects Davide Gavinelli and Claudia Colla as part of long and painstaking project to renovate old local buildings. Conveniently located close to the Monterosa skiing area and the famous “Marmotta Rosa” cross-country skiing trail, these four traditional wood and stone chalets house various different categories of luxury apartments.
The resort also boasts a small but sophisticated spa that offers an outstanding range of services, its stylishly elegant spaces designed to offer intimate moments of escape, well-being and relaxation immersed in this extraordinary natural setting.
“The small floor area and a knowledge of traditional Alpine architecture, which for environmental reasons sees buildings as aggregations of small spaces, were the starting points for the design phase,” explained Davide Gavinelli. “The materials were also chosen with an eye to the local tradition, but without sacrificing the comfort and modernity of materials and contemporary design.” One particularly striking aspect of the spa design is the intelligence with which the various materials have been combined, especially the tiles used for the floors and walls. The porcelain tiles from the Floortech collection by Floor Gres come in a range of surface textures and colours, allowing them to be used to create unique decorations and patterns, combining the appeal of natural stone with the outstanding performance of advanced technology. Against this background, mosaics and wood are placed skilfully in the various rooms and combined with artificial lighting to create warm, welcoming spaces with sober yet striking visual appeal as well as an element of surprise. For all of these reasons, the project was awarded a special mention in the third edition of the ‘Ceramics and design’ competition. According to the jury statement, “the project dialogues with a series of inventions, both in the use of ceramic materials and in the composition of spaces, a sequence of openings, partial closures and the rediscovery of unexpected viewpoints, all skilfully handled in terms of artificial lighting”.

Tiles
Floor Gres, serie Floortech
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
30x60, 40x80 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UHA, UA, ULA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <150 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R11
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
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