Located in the mountainous Italian village of Sesto, Plasma Studio's Alma Residence and boutique hotel boasts an extraordinary timber skin that is both sculptural and functional. The skin wraps around an addition to the six-room hotel, providing sheltered outdoor space.
The architect, Ulla Hell, sought a new home for her family of five, and the existing 1960s hotel needed a smart upgrade. The residential addition is organized over two floors, and every room has access to the outdoors through a series of terraced gardens. The bottom level is comprised of a skylit corridor off which the bedrooms split, while an open plan kitchen and living area arranged around a fireplace are on the second floor.
A gap in the central stair allows for rainwater collection inside, as well as direct sunlight, such that house and nature work side by side. The funky skin was designed with parametric modeling software to optimize the density of the timber strips, allowing also for flexibility and material efficiency. Left deliberately neutral in color, this striking new renovation to an existing structure complements the surrounding mountain vistas.