Celebrated for its majestic Dolomites mountain range and extensive hiking trails, the year-round charms at the Northern Italian village of Sesto have been elevated a few notches with the Continuous Extension, a new eye-catching addition to the Family Resort Rainer, a design-forward wellness retreat originally built in 1964.
As with the resort’s other architecturally imaginative structures, the nine-suite extension is a sculptural marvel that looks as if it grew out of the earth—an illusion emphasized by its sharp angles and massive green roof.
Helmed by architect Ulla Hell, Plasma Studio designed the striking building, which echoes elements of the firm’s previous two commissions for the Rainers: the award-winning Strata Hotel (2007) and the Paramount Alma (2014), a refurbished guesthouse with an annex that houses Ulla Hell’s family residence and Plasma Studio’s Italian headquarters.
Connected via underground passageways, the three origami-like buildings share contemporary geometry inspired by the surrounding mountains. The firm’s innovative take on alpine architecture is combined with locally sourced materials, including larch, which has been used extensively in the interiors and on the banded and angular facades that echo the steep terrain.
"Buildings that become extensions of their surroundings" are the goal, says Plasma Studio, as is "employing local materials in new and unseen configurations."
Although Continuous Extension shares many similarities with its two predecessors, from the interior design to the full-height glazing, the new addition stands out with its spacious luxury suites, which are the largest offered at the resort.
"The concept was to offer a generous stay for families in the Alps, in a place that goes beyond the cliche ‘Alpine Chic’ lodge style," explains Hell. "We wanted to offer an alternative for design-and-architecture-loving families. Some of the suites can be connected for maximum flexibility."
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Builder/ General Contractor: Dravus Gmbh
Structural Engineer /Civil Engineer: Dr. Ing. Andreas Erlacher
Landscape Design Company / Interior Design / Cabinetry Design: Plasma Studio
Lighting Design: Plasma studio / dueeffeilluminazione
Cabinetry Installation: Erlacher
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