Museum Design Hotel
Montaldo castle stands on a hill overlooking the plains that separate Piedmont’s regional capital Turin from the Langhe and Monferrato areas. According to historical and archaeological research, the castle was founded around the year one thousand. As the building changed ownership over the centuries, alterations were made to its architectural layout and the functional use of the spaces. From the nineteenth century onwards, the castle was used as a holiday home by the Jesuits and then in the twentieth century by their successors the Barnabites, after which it became the leisure residence of Carlo Alberto di Moncalieri. Long left in a state of neglect and disrepair, the castle recently underwent a painstaking ten-year restoration project and now houses the superior four-star Soul Farm Hotel, several restaurants and one of the best known and most popular wellness centres in Northern Italy, OM SPA.
Remodelled several times over the years, the building has a four-level structure with a fairly rigid internal layout. The redevelopment project displays a high degree of architectural expertise and involved locating the swimming pool and large items of spa equipment on the ground floor. The loft, with its views of the surrounding countryside, was used for the rest of the spa and connected to the various levels by a double lift. The other floors in the complex were transformed into suites, conference rooms and restaurants, one of which is inspired by a culture of wellness and the local gastronomic tradition.
The concept behind architect Gianni Arnaudo’s project for the hotel is a focus on the history and values of industrial design. In spaces with strong historic appeal, he created an authentic museum that showcases outstanding Italian and international design products. While devoting great attention to conservation and improvement of the existing structures, he also created a cultural itinerary that extends over the various floors, along the connecting walkways and through the various collective spaces and suites. The design objects and collectors’ items on display chronicle the history of design through the ages, while at the same time highlighting the originality of their concept and poetic vision.
The ground floor, reserved almost entirely for the spa centre and swimming pool, features a sequence of ethereal backdrops erected without impacting the original structure and framed at the top by splendid cross vaults. The interiors display exceptional attention to detail, formal balance and sober colours. The elegant grey coloured floors are tiled with stone-inspired porcelain (Casalgrande Padana, Pietre Native, Meteor series).
This prestigious project reflects the artistic sensibility of the architect Gianni Arnaudo, a key figure in twentieth century architecture whose work has featured in exhibitions held in the Musée National d’Art Moderne in the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Casalgrande Padana, Pietre Native, Meteor series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): N/mm2 50÷60
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant