The new VIP Lounge at Catania Airport
Iosa Ghini Associati
Alitalia’s new corporate image provided the inspiration for the overhaul operations that have involved the company’s boarding gates, ticket desks, check-in desks, self check-in areas and fast tracks. The recurring theme behind the new concept of the reception areas is green, which has always been the corporate colour, but in this new-look brand identity the shades are richer, warmer and more elegant, with a view to underscoring Italian style and lending strength to the company’s new image. Fluorescent lighting, stripes and contours along the counters, soft colours and ad hoc lighting fixtures are the details that identify the logistics areas. Frosted glass, strip wood flooring, padded seats designed and manufactured as only the Italians know how, brushed steel and coloured plastic are the furnishing materials which have been selected to turn the concept into reality. The project focuses on the reception desk as the pivotal element in greeting passengers. Its wood panelling was designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini. For the baggage check-in counters, the self check-in counters and the ticket counters the studio came up with a single shaped surface consisting of a brushed steel plinth with a back-lit acid-treated glass panelled front. The reception desk’s white plastic shelf and counter top are what lend this design piece its volume. The lounge also features an office area with multimedia workstations on a shaped oak tabletop and a meeting-room area with tables and chairs featuring the Alitalia logo.
The Alitalia CFA Bellini lounge, located inside the entrance to the main hall of Catania Airport, is also a result of the new concept.
The main aim of the project is to create a comfortable, elegant setting and at the same time offer passengers a range of services such as the possibility of purchasing airline tickets, express check-in facilities, Internet connections, refreshment and restaurant services and relaxation areas.
The lounge is accessed by means of an automatic two-panel sliding glass door.
Inside passengers are greeted by the first “reception” area, heavily characterized by the company’s corporate colours and equipped with all the necessary boarding services, and also featuring a sales area with specially designed showcases displaying the company’s brand products.
Near this multifunctional space is a large relaxation area with a self-service bar and armchairs and tables equipped with reading lights, power sockets and Internet connections.
In this area the main finishing elements are oak, soft lighting, warm colours and echoes of green. The flooring plays a vital role in this area: parquet is used in the relaxation area, where passenger traffic is less frequent and the mood must be comfortable and cocoon-like; through-bodied porcelain tiles in beige and dark grey are used for areas of intense traffic and places where higher levels of hygiene are required (cafeteria and toilet areas).
In spite of their resistance characteristics, the products used in these spaces do not sacrifice aesthetic qualities. The porcelain tiles used for the finishings are inspired by Sardinian trachyte; the chips and particles added to the body are visible on the surface, thus lending a touch of elegance.
Italian products have been used in all Alitalia areas with a view to making these lounges a dedicated showcase of the design and quality of Italian brands.
Beige and Grey