From the steel door entrance, to the soft lines, to the stark contrast in the interior design, Aeon is all about embracing and breaking boundaries.
The two buildings that make up Aeon, a hotel and wellness center, repeatedly return to the theme of connected, yet separated. The architects at noa* network of architecture describe the balance as a place “where two worlds meet. Between past and future, between dream and reality, between inside and outside: noa* makes the invisible lines visible, which become part of the full picture and, above all, instead of a separation, a connection between two worlds.”
Aeon sits nestled in the Italian countryside, surrounded by views from the Sciliar, to the Rittner Horn, to the Merano Alps and the Dolomites. The 500 year old farmhouse, inn and barn served as inspiration for the project. In honor of the site’s history, the team focused on minimal site impact with an artificially-created hill that essentially creates an underground connecting tunnel. More visible is a stone above-ground walkway between the two structures.
The layouts and exterior look of the buildings nod to the past as well.
“The creation of an ambivalent tension between the centuries-old tradition of the rural complex and an exclusively modern statement was the basic principle underlying the design process,” explained Architect Christian Rottensteiner.
The team emphasized the importance of keeping the green surroundings instead of consuming it with architecture. One building houses a public gathering area that includes a restaurant, bar and wellness area. The other building is a hotel with 15 guest suites and between the two is a courtyard.
The primary building material was wood sourced from trees on the property. They feature gabled roofs and a striking façade design that appears different from each angle of approach. Uniquely-shaped trapezoid windows offer eye-catching visual appeal, providing natural light throughout the space.
Once inside the buildings, the interior design elements take center stage with a stunning use of contrasting blue and creamy white coloring that shifts at eye level. It’s a clear defining line that offers an atmosphere of mystery yet familiarity.
“The past has grown like stone, wood and nature,” said Interior Designer Patrick Gürtler about the color choices. “The future, on the other hand, is veiled, mysterious and artificial (i.e. it is intangible like the sky, the night or the ocean). In between is the moment, a sharp, unconditional break, but also a point of contact.”
This idea of breaking away while staying connected is seen in the transition when the blue and cream colors flip between the wellness area and the other public spaces.
“We have carefully chosen the fabrics, woods and colors that play both with and against each other at the same time,” added Gürtler.
Photography by Alex Filz and Andrea Dal Negro