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Barcelò Milano by Barcelò Hotel & Resorts

Barcelò Milano by Barcelò Hotel & Resorts

by Simone Micheli Architectural Hero


Barceló Milan is located on Via Stephenson, near the Rho–Fiera and Fiera Milano City trade–fair facilities and close to the  site of Expo 2015. The new hotel was created to re-examine, unhinge and completely renew the criteria of the whole class and its promotion and communication strategies. Forget all antiquated, obsolete, old– fashioned definitions of business hotels, and erase any preconceived morphological definition and stereotyped typological conception. Hybrid, transversal, full of multiform and synesthetic contaminations, a place of wonder, culture, nature and metropolitanity, the Barceló Milan stands as rewrite canon for hotels to come. Exteriors are hieratic and unique thank to the detailed work by Giancarlo Marzorati, interiors are Iconic and super  functional, thank to the dynamic sign of Simone Micheli.

Barceló Milan does not want to be a business hotel or a simple super-design hotel: is a three-dimensional manifesto of the possible and wished union between architecture, sensory and excellence, of the synergy and blend between iconic furniture, fully functional in their plastic and fluid shapes, and the private experience of the host who lives this space surrounded by vibrant energy, bearer of renewal and regeneration.


Barceló Milan is a masterpiece-hotel due to the creation of a unique history which has in itself a sign of shared recognition. In this aspect, the hotel is not that work for its beauty, on the basis of mere aesthetic and stylistic canons, but the message of overall broadcasting and all-encompassing experience that sets in motion in its user, in which the experience is transformed into active memory.

Hospitable space of our contemporary in order to be considered “work”, must be close to the parameters of uniqueness which is not only an iconic point of view, but invests as a whole, in the communication, in the reception capacity, in the services, in the logistic and functional size. Inside there should be no discord but it is the overall similarity of design and management of multiple aspects and details that must converge to create a universe of consistency.

So: the space, the light, the colour, the use of technology but also the type of service to the customer, catering, methods of self-promotion, the particular use of the channels belonging to our informative variable names are some of the various blocks that should be “joint connection” designed to build an “homogeneous” world that emits a message belonging to the dimension of uniqueness. For this, the interior of Barceló Milan, are conceived as an architecture inside architecture, an harmonious blend able to look beyond the barrier of known reality in order to generate contents and linguistic innovation, hi-tech and at the same time user-friendly, sustainable in economic and environmental terms.The common areas are redesigned, with an hybridization space, with contamination of functions to meet the most diverse needs of the guests; the lobby is in fact not only a welcome place and rest but even a gallery for shopping, a relaxation area and a play area, which hosts virtual stores, reading areas, and is connected and divided through modular systems to the restaurant and cafe, all the spaces are interconnected, symbiotic, fluid and interactive. Phytomorphic sculptures constitute the entire structural and functional apparatus of the ground floor. Columns, reception desk, bar counter, the cook-show top, born from a glossy material, fluid, dynamic,

a continuous escape from stereometric canonical geometries. Glossy lacquered, acid green or bright red, contrasting with the floor in Luserna stone that stretches, uninterrupted, on the whole surface. Sculptural armchairs, upholstered in green fabric material, some with backs significantly out of scale, dot the entire hall, creating relax-waiting islands.Macro-chandeliers come down from the ceiling, futuristic and imaginative planetary mechanics, consisting of globular bright balls, white and green, hung at different heights that fill the entire space with double volume entrance, as spotlight on the stage of the daily show hosted by the lobby. Directed lighting highlights the plastic episodes, giving an indication of the paths to follow and define the areas in which pause.

FIRST FLOOR On the first floor via the stairs or the panoramic lifts, all-glass built, your eyes are greeted with softer colours, whether on the ground floor were dynamic forms on the first floor the formal message arouses different emotions in the human visitor. Colours and shapes suggest a general relaxation of the senses, the fluid dynamism of the lobby, it is far away, the atmosphere is serene and welcoming. A trompe-l’oeil reinterpreted through the oversize printed pictures by Maurizio Marcato, simulates an infinite birch forest that surrounds the space used for breakfast and lunch.

The wallpaper on the walls becomes a relaxing kaleidoscope, glossy green furniture and mobile dividers, made

and decorated with twists of real birch branches and tree trunks that go from floor to ceiling, make the soft suggestion even more real. The green of the chairs’ coating, although the same as those on the ground floor, as well as the natural stone flooring in large strips, takes on a different value, harmonious and relaxing.The large portholes overlooking the restaurant below and the wide mouth that opens to the kitchen to offer live entertainment and culinary art classes, are formal choices dictated by the overall style and by the attention given to the customer. Not only the vision is the object of study, design, but the choice of melodies, natural and artificial lighting effects, fragrances, differ for the same three-dimensional sphere and determine on the receptor of the message a completely different answer.

RESTAURANT The restaurant completes the scene inspired by the hall’s design, differentiating its function but keeping a semantic continuity that completes ground floor spaces in a natural and harmonic way, in this context these archaic presences become a functional space ideal for lunch and dinner tasting.

CONFERENCE ROOMS The conference rooms defy aesthetic canonical variations and mainstream technology designed to meet various needs from the functional point of view, lighting, spatial and aesthetic quality. Spread over the first and second floors, are made up of three small meeting rooms that can also be used as private meeting rooms, and a real large meeting room that can accommodate up to 450 people and can be, thanks to the modularity guaranteed by the internal sliding walls, divided into three rooms (with 125 and 200 seats). In agreement with the dominant colours of the floors, acid green for the first floor and lilac for the second, the interiors of the rooms are colored consequently. A carpet covers the pavement with the macro image of the stone used for the flooring of the lobby and the adjacent spaces. The island shaped false ceiling, detached along the perimeter of the walls, is suspended in a halo of light that leaves out and guarantees, with their own forms, stalactite growths and plastic indentation, a variable technical lighting.

SUPER SPA On the second floor there is also the spa, an organic space, deliberately vibrant, colourful but rigorously calibrated. Accessible directly from the bedroom floors via a dedicated elevator: an interactive, hybrid, anticanonic space, where everything is strongly characterized: the area of the reception, the distribution paths, the changing rooms for men and women, the treatment cabins, the wet area with sauna, turkish bath, aromatic showers, ice maker and a relaxation area, and the large swimming pool punctuated by multiple fountains and water jets. Fluid forms defined as macro yellow sea anemones, rise from the ground to full height, others hanging from the ceiling, piercing it and bringing waterfalls. A mini pool flows through a slide, in the larger pool, creating, together with the stone floor which rises on the walls and the large panoramic window, which opens on the horizon, a harmonic space, designed to inspire peace.

ROOMS Softer Light, subtle and rarefied accompany the areas for 16 floors, along the corridors dotted with doors, two-colored arabesques, integrate numbers and electronic entrance to the rooms.

The rooms, ergonomic and functional, are also designed on the long term to be resistant and easy to clean. Lilac walls contrast with those in wood, rising from the floor, characterize the bed head and wrap the whole bathroom. The cabinet stands out like a glossy, bright green totem, playing with the solid surface plans, absolutely white of the desk and of the racks. TV, safe box and minibar, develop from bubble mirrors and seem defying gravity in their reflections. The shower wrapped in a curtain of shaded glass, in the center of the room, becomes the distributive and visual fulcrum of the entire room. The sink, installed directly on the head of the bed, stretches becoming the support, thus freeing itself, together with the shower, from the slavery of the bathroom walls, usually claustrophobic, and become characteristic elements of the room’s formal composition.

The mirror above the sink, is born like a tongue, above the bed, and then expands and takes shape, fluidly, to define iconically, but not spatially, the place of regeneration and physical well-being. Behind the mirrored sliding door an intimate retreat houses only toilets.

Italian Contribution to the project

photo by Maurizio Marcato

  • Simone Micheli Architectural Hero

    Simone Micheli Architectural Hero

    Simone Micheli Architectural Hero
    Via Aretina 197r 199r 201r - 50136 Firenze (FI)
    Hotels, Public Spaces, Spa
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