Design stories: Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Touring Club Milan

by | 02 Nov 2021 | Design

Marco Piva, founder of architecture and interior design firm Studio Marco Piva, discusses reinventing the home of Touring Club Italiano in our latest TOPHOTELDESIGN exclusive.

The stunning Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Touring Club Milan opened in late summer 2021, boasting 89 luxurious rooms and suites, multiple event spaces, Italian restaurant Bertarelli and an underground wellness area incorporating a spa and gym. The first Radisson Collection scheme in Italy’s fashion capital is the result of a sensitive conversion of the former headquarters of Touring Club Italiano, which included renovating and retaining the national tourist association’s historic library and travel agency.

This ambitious project was brought to life by a team that included IGEFI (investor), Radisson Collection (operator), Studio Marco Piva (architecture and interior design), Corrado Serafini Architetti (executive design and construction management), Cooperativa Beni Culturali (restoration), Studio Michaelides Associati Di Vincenzo Dino & C (construction) and Ingegneria e Architettura (structural engineering).

How did you come to be involved with the project?

Studio Marco Piva supported the investor, IGEFI, in the recovery and repositioning of the property, and was commissioned by Radisson Hotel Group to develop the architectural and interior design.

What was the design brief from the client?

The client wanted to preserve and enhance the building’s historicity, partially maintaining its original functions (as the offices of Touring Club Italiano, the major Italian national tourist organisation that promotes the values of travel), but giving it a new life, transforming it into a five-star hotel with Radisson’s standards of quality and excellence

How did you go about delivering the client’s brief?

We approached Radisson’s standards and interpreted and adapted them, creating a link to the historicity of the building.

What were your main sources of inspiration when designing the project?

Most of the hotel was designed starting from a deep analysis linked to the theme of travel: the materials and the types of furnishings, in the references of the finishes and in the details, recall elements related to travel and the founding history of the Touring Club Italiano in the common imagination. I define myself as a traveller and a designer, so finding inspiration in the theme of travel was so easy!

What are the most innovative aspects of the project?

One of the most important features was the redevelopment of the historic building constructed in the early 1900s, preserving and enhancing its historicity, while giving it a more contemporary appearance.

From the design point of view, a particular aspect was the optimisation of the spaces (they were offices before). We studied the best solutions to reach the largest possible number of rooms, in compliance with the regulations, creating functional and yet aesthetically attractive spaces.

For the interiors, Studio Marco Piva custom-designed most of the furnishings: a bespoke project that creates a synergy between culture and history, contemporaneity and authenticity, leading the place to a new aesthetic and emotional experience.

Which element of the project’s design are you most proud of?

The ancient library of the Touring Club Italiano association that we maintained as part of the structure, with its fine collection of guides and books on the history of tourism and travel. This space, open to the city on the ground floor and mezzanine, can be used as a library, but also as a place to have dinner or brunch, spend happy hour or enjoy a conversation.

A fine example of philological recovery was carried out by Studio Marco Piva in order to maintain this charming place that houses 150 years of travel history inside the pages of early guidebooks and fascinating atlases. The library is now a fluid space where people meet and converse surrounded by books, dreaming of faraway destinations and planning new journeys.

What was the biggest challenge with the project?

The biggest challenge was respecting the imposed budget, yet taking into account the guidelines of an internationally renowned brand such as Radisson, while obtaining excellent results.

How long did you work on the project in total?

The project was granted to Studio Marco Piva in December 2018 and the hotel’s opening was on 30 August 2021, so two-and-a-half years.

Has the finished project lived up to expectations?

Yes, absolutely: in the first months of opening, we are receiving a lot of positive feedback from the client, hotel chain, guests and visitors.

How would you sum up what this project has achieved?

The Palazzo Touring Club is very important to us because it addresses issues around the restoration, renovation and reuse of abandoned buildings, in this case ones with a historic and monumental importance. The result conserves and emphasises the aspects and values of the original building, while giving rise to something new.

This project achieved the aim of being for us, but also for the city of Milan, the symbol of a new post-Covid renaissance – the resumption of tourism in a place dedicated to it.

For more info, and to view an extensive gallery of hi-res images, check out the Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Touring Club Milan project page on the TOPHOTELDESIGN website.

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

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