An interview with Carlo Cretella, the Redesigner of the new LAGO WELCOME in Verona

A few months ago, at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, we presented LAGO Interior Life, the guiding philosophy inspiring our work, which we want to generate empathy between our interior lives and the interior spaces we live in. It is a simple equation: ‘If you spend your time in quality spaces, your quality of life will also be improved’.

We transferred this approach to the world of tourism, because we believe that design can improve life even in spaces where people are just passing through, like hotels and B&Bs. And so LAGO WELCOME was born, an initiative addressed to people who want to invest in hospitality facilities and believe in the unique experiences that can be generated by interior design.

After inaugurating the first LAGO WELCOME in France, the Lion Blanc in Saint Tropez, we opened the first Italian LAGO WELCOME, B&B design Verona.

We asked architect Carlo Cretella, the LAGO REDESIGNER who designed the interiors, to talk with us about the project.

Verona design

How did the project for B&B Verona Design, the first Italian LAGO WELCOME, get its start?

The project for the B&B Verona Design started to develop in the early months of 2014, growing out of an entrepreneur’s need to renovate a large flat in Verona’s historical Filippini quarter and transform it into a B&B.

The restoration project, developed together with architect Nicola Cacciatori, needed to meet the requirements of contemporary tourists and pay almost maniacal attention to comfort in the guest rooms. The client’s request was, in fact, to create large guest rooms filled with a home-like feeling, offering the same comfort found at home and with special attention to the benefits that technology could provide.

To meet this request, the guest rooms were divided with double walls in plasterboard, paying careful attention to the acoustic bridges, while the wooden floors were acoustically insulated to block out the sound from the restaurant below. Moreover, the channelled air conditioning was positioned at points where it will not disturb guests while they sleep and the small doors were set up with access passes.

This LAGO WELCOME is set in a fascinating historical context. Talk to us about the neighbourhood. 

The Filippini quarter is on the banks of the Adige River, inside the Mura Magistrali walls, and just a few steps from the ancient Roman Arena. It is a typical Verona quarter, where the bottegas are still points of reference for the locals, the restaurants prepare typical local dishes and everyone knows everyone else, since the people there tend not to move away from the area.

The quarter, in addition to being pleasurable due to the ease of everyday life, is also peppered with distinctive architecture that makes it a place filled with culture and history. Turning onto the main street, you get a view of one of the most beautiful churches in Verona, the church of San Fermo, a Romanesque structure from 1350 that makes entering the quarter especially charming. A little bit further ahead you find the Dogana Vecchia and, directly opposite the windows of the B&B, the entrance to the Vecchio Macello di Verona.

Throughout most of the year, it is a quiet quarter, but it springs to life for the Carnival season, with its celebration being one of the oldest in Italy, and since 1531 called the Bacanàl del Gnoco.

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How does your interior design project fit in with this context?

For the mood of the interiors, I focused on a particular aspect of the location: the great sounds coming in from the outside. The music from the opera performances in the Arena reaches the guest rooms, as does the roar of the Adige.

And so I tried to create a setting that would welcome these sounds, using suspended, lightweight furnishings that would make the rooms seem almost suspended in time. LAGO furniture completes the project in an exemplary way: the Fluttua beds, resting on a single leg, and the Air furniture, supported by almost invisible glass, fill people entering the room with a sense of lightness and wonder.

The second theme I wanted to develop revolves around colour.  The monochrome shell lent itself to giving free play to a palette of colours from all over the spectrum, but this aspect was also matched up with the design theme.

The Almond base colour, used for the walls and the bands of the N.O.W. wardrobes, is complemented by the hues of the 36e8 storage pieces, which pick up the colours of the Adige at different times of year: from the Clay hue of the summer season to the Mud colour of autumn.

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What is the plus point of this project?

The experiences you can have inside and outside this B&B. Added to the context of design and comfort, with furnishings that make you feel welcomed and where the spontaneity of Arianna, the hostess of the B&B, does the rest, there are also many kinds of experiences waiting for you to enjoy outside. You can go see an opera at the Arena, which is just five minutes away by foot, or enjoy a candlelit dinner at the Vecio Macello restaurant below the B&B, sampling typical Verona dishes and wines, like boiled meats with peppery pearà sauce and Valpolicella wines, or ride down the Adige on a canoe.

Photography plays a starring role in the guest rooms. How did you insert photography into the design?

Thanks to the far-sightedness of the client, the display was handled in collaboration with photographer Marco Monari of Verona Fotografia.

‘One Sigarette’, the photographic series on view, investigates the places in cities that are usually only visited and experienced when people are in a hurry. Eleven shots, taken in different European cities, in the time it takes to smoke a single cigarette.

Photography is an active part of the design of the space. The materials used for the prints trace back to the furnishings and the design plan for the interiors. This is just the first presentation of art; others will follow in the future.

What would you choose as the soundtrack for this space?

‘Libiamo ne’ lieti calici’, an aria from Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’, which the wind brings into the B&B from the Arena.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8AF3q-nmn8

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Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

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