On a tranquil lake in Italy, style reigns.
WRITTEN BY CHRISTINA VALHOULI
Fantini is known for its exquisite bath and kitchen products, so it makes perfect sense that the company is headquartered along the shores of Lake Orta in Pella, Italy. Water serves as both a source of inspiration and the guiding element for the company, which recently opened a boutique hotel, Casa Fantini/lake time.
Casa Fantini was created while the Fantini company headquarters were being renovated. Both projects were spearheaded by the renowned Italian architect Piero Lissoni, working closely with CEO Daniela Fantini. The buildings are located near each other along the lakeshore, and water is the common thread between the projects.
The design inspiration for both the headquarters and the hotel came from the natural surroundings. Wood, stone and water were the key elements, and the buildings are meant to be a continuation and extension of the lake. For the headquarters, this means floor to ceiling windows, and covered walkways to link the interior with the exterior. Bringing in nature also softened the industrial edges of the project.
Although Lissoni was tasked with two separate projects, the design manifesto for both buildings was similar. “Everything was done with a continuous dialogue. The goal [for] Casa Fantini has been to create a place that could bring out the value of the lakeside while at the same time generating a forceful identity of the company’s nest products, gathered in this ideal permanent display.”
Casa Fantini is meant to embrace “lake time,” which means slowing down to soak up the quiet beauty of the lake. One design challenge that Lissoni and his team had to tackle was how to incorporate the hotel’s existing historic building with a new addition. Lissoni fused the two both visually and thematically.
“We combined materials and furniture in a natural setting, with great simplicity and timeless elegance,” Lissoni says.
The guest rooms have a minimalist, quiet design. Every room has a terrace along with views of the lake and the lush gardens. Bathrooms are separated with a wall of wavy blue glass, to mirror the shimmering waters of Lake Orta. Each bathroom has a unique design but they all use Fantini products. Some have vintage looking hardware while others have streamlined steel fittings. Headboards are crafted from whitewashed doors.
Guests of Casa Fantini can simply relax and enjoy the pool and landscaped gardens, while guided tours of nearby Piedmont wineries and excursions to San Giulio Island, home to a 12th-century basilica, are also available. In lieu of a formal reception area, there’s a welcoming lounge that feels more like a chic living room. In the public areas, the accessories are decidedly modern, with Arco lamps in the dining room and Lissoni’s own Frog chairs in the reception area.
Fantini says she was inspired to open the boutique hotel to share the beauty of her hometown. “Casa Fantini Lake Time is the realization of my personal dream. It expresses my passion for this region and my love of hospitality. I gave voice to a sort of ‘vocation’ that I have to create this project with the key element being my appreciation for its location and extraordinary landscape.”