The initial conditions were challenging; an abandoned concrete building on the shore of lake Garda and the vague idea of a spa and hotel inside. We decided to dare and take on the project. We gave shape to Mirella’s dream.
Follow the stages of the story below.
We adopt the building.
We bet on a new idea of a bespoke interior. We got rid of the old plans and designed a revolutionary suite where both bathroom and bedroom overlook the lake.
We showed our clients the renderings and they fell in love with this design as we had fallen in love with this mission impossible. We felt like we had adopted the building.
Name, logo and goddess.
Set like a gem on the Sirmione peninsula, we found the name of this oasis of peace in a poem by Catullo:
“ Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque ocelle…”
Ocelle is a pearl and its definitely female; we feel like we found the perfect name!
We drew the logo as a shell with a pearl (ocelle ) inside with the help of our friends of Studio Over and finally we conceived the personification of Ocelle as a goddess who was brought alive by our dear friend Nicola Biondani.
Hall and ground floor.
All the interior design on the ground floor is about taking the guests from the traffic of the main street of Sirmione to the sands of the private beach.
A circular entrance hall acts like a compass helping the guests get their bearings in a new dimension of holiday and relaxation. Here, the sculpture of the goddess Ocelle is the first to welcome them; she seems to promise that Ocelle will take care of them like the precious pearl she is holding.
The reception desk is conceived like a boat with a screen of nautical ropes as a backdrop.
On the side stands a huge open book made of white stone with the verse by Catullo to remind guests of the origin of the name Ocelle. A black tiled corridor leads straight on to the lounge bar overlooking the lake.
Beauty, wellness and spa.
The most challenging part of the project was transforming a basement into a delightful place for the beauty and wellness spaces.
The layout is made up of volumes (where the main facilities are contained) and by the greenery in the voids between them. The wash-wall LED lights emphasize the pleated surfaces of the volumes and the skylights the small gardens between them. Throughout there is black fishbone flooring, white ceiling and low lights. It’s a space to be experienced.
Rooms and suites.
The room layout was restricted by the concrete structure and the position of the windows.
But we are used to seeing the limits of the location as opportunities to create a unique design. No two rooms are the same. The general rule is that everything faces the lake and -apart from the showers and the toilets, everything is open. Guests can brush their teeth in the bathroom while admiring the view of the lake though the two mirrors of the basins’ laptop.
The new project for the hotel Ocelle is focused on the strong identity of the location: Sirmione. The Genius Loci ( shall we say the spirit of the place) is expressed in every single choice we made. Not only the name and the logo, but also the layout, the design, the materials, the colors.
We opened the concrete shell towards the lake.
All the routes on the ground floor lead to the shore. Almost all the rooms upstairs overlook the lake. Even in the basement, the spa layout and materials suggest water.
Colours and materials.
The palette is made up of four colours only. They are all inspired by the place.
The white sand on the walls recalls the shore; the glossy black of the corridor in the hall the Garda water at night; the orange evokes the sky at sunset; the acquamarine takes its cue from the colour of the lake around the Sirmione peninsula on a sunny day.
We call it “Ocelle colour” and it works as a sort of recognizable sign throughout the interior.
Even the materials are limited, but with a strong identity. The elegant teak -for example- is a reference to the yachting world. Ocelle is like a beautiful yacht moored on the Garda coast. Or the black cotto tiles- which lead to the lake on the ground floor- are custom made by a historic Italian company. It’s impossible to mention every bespoke piece – everything here at Ocelle is designed and custom made by Ermesponti.