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Tag Archives: Holistic Approach

10 Questions With… Matteo Thun

Cala Beach Club at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo on Sardinia. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

A holistic approach to nature and wellness drives Matteo Thun’s built projects. The award-winning Italian architect and Interior Design Hall of Fame member co-founded the iconic Italian design and architecture collective the Memphis Group with Ettore Sottsass in 1981, before striking out on his own, forming Matteo Thun & Partners in 2001. Thun’s happiest designing something new, he admits, and his firm’s creative eye, honed out of a headquarters in Milan and an office in Shanghai, is behind a long list of high-profile hospitality and healthcare projects spanning the globe.

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Most recently, summer saw the reassembly of Thun’s temporary beach structure, Cala Beach Club on the breathtaking Emerald Coast of the Italian island of Sardinia. Situated at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Costa Smeralda, a playground for the rich and, at times, famous—many of them yachting enthusiasts—Cala Beach Club is an environmentally sensitive structure only accessible by foot or boat. In summer it hums with private parties, with clientele seduced by the stunning natural landscape. Interior Design sat down with Thun to hear more about the Cala Beach Club, what toy kicked off his imagination at a young age, and which project reachable solely by cable car he considers a career turning point.

Interior Design: What was your overall design goal for Cala Beach Club?

Matteo Thun: Cala di Volpe is a beautiful beach in Sardinia. We wanted to create a shady oasis just between the woods and the sea. Restaurant, bar, and treatment rooms have been designed to melt within the landscape, to respect the charm of this special place.

ID: What was particularly challenging about this project?

MT: This property is reachable only by boat or on a path through nature. Since it serves only for the season, we designed a removable structure that is easily to assemble and dismantle.

Cala Beach Club at Hotel Cala di Volpe in Porto Cervo on Sardinia. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: What materials did you use and why?

MT: The structure unites with the beach vegetation, terraces value the inclination of the land, and views are open to the sea. We only used natural materials that integrate with the surroundings, such as chestnut wood and bamboo. All colors are natural and warm.

ID: What else have you completed recently?

MT: We like to bring nature inside and believe in concepts that emphasize an overall healthy lifestyle as a main approach. Healthy architecture and interior design guarantees physical and mental well being, allowing a relationship between humans and the environment. In Obbürgen, Switzerland, the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, which opened at the end of last year, is a space for wellness and medical services. It’s made from local stone and wood, and nature will take over in a few years so that the building will melt with the mountain. As with most of our projects, we also designed the entire interior.

Another recent project is the new headquarters for Davines, an Italian beauty company dedicated to sustainability and based in Parma, Italy. Here, we grouped traditional rural shapes and innovative volumes around a greenhouse that serves as a restaurant for the employees. Maximum architectural transparency with a minimum amount of masonry elements provides every working station with a view of the green areas.

The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: What’s upcoming for you?

MT: The Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau in Berlin at the largest university orthopedic center in Europe. Waldkrankenhaus means ‘hospital in the forest’ in German, and the new hospital building and rehab building connected to it will transform the hospital campus into a health center with a hotel character. This project represents our idea of a healing environment, an architectural and organizational structure that helps the patient and his relatives endure stressful situations caused by illness, operations, treatments, and sometimes pain.

Another hospitality project, a health bathing spa with medical treatments and maximum comfort, is underway in Bavaria, at Tegernsee, a resort town on the banks of Germany’s Tegernsee Lake. Nature is also the point of departure here and was key to the project. The landscape design integrates the existing flora and references the natural presence of water, allowing a direct communication with nature without interfering with the privacy of the patients.

The Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau in Berlin by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: Is there a project in your history that you feel was particularly significant to your career?

MT: I designed the Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tirol more than 15 years ago. It was one of the first design hotels, made from local larch wood and reachable only by cable car. The owner and I shared the same vision: to create a hotel that fuses with its surroundings, a place where you can breathe and relax instantly. Now, after all these years, the wood has a beautiful patina and the hotel a constant influx of international clientele.

ID: What are you reading?

MT: I very much like to read books in parallel: such as German philosopher Martin Heidegger with a novel or short story by Italian journalist and writer Italo Calvino

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Serge Brison, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: How do you think your childhood influenced your design thinking?

MT: My parents took me regularly to the Venice Biennale, so I became familiar with art and architecture at quite a young age. I grew up in nature, in the mountains near Bolzano, Italy, where my mother worked with pottery. She gave me clay to play with—so I had to use my imagination to have fun with it. I was always very close to material and materiality.

ID: How do think the Italian design culture influences your overall approach?

MT: In Italy, architecture is approached holistically. Let me quote Italian architect and writer Ernesto Rogers: ‘From spoon to city.’ This means working on a chair, on a lighting product, and on a house at the same time. We’ve worked like this in my office since the beginning, and the different teams of architects, interior designers, and product designers perform across disciplines.

Another big strength is Italian craftsmanship. At Salone del Mobile 2019, we launched a wood chair collection produced by F.lli Levaggi, a small manufacturer in Liguria, Italy, and work regularly with the glassblowers from Murano, such as Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso. We very much believe in ‘Made in Italy.’

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Vigilius Mountain Resort, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

ID: Is there a person in the industry that you particularly admire?

MT: Ettore Sottsass, chief designer of Olivetti. I first worked for him as an assistant, then we formed Sottsass Associati and in 1981 we co-founded Italian design and architecture collective Memphis Group. Memphis had an important formative influence on my career, and provided a platform to experiment with the challenges of constant innovation. Ettore designed the first Italian computer—in the late 1950s.

Keep scrolling for more images of projects by Matteo Thun >

The Vigilius Mountain Resort by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Florian Andergassen, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The alpine suite at the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Waldhotel, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The pool at the Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort in Obbürgen, Switzerland by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Waldhotel, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners
The Davines headquarters in Parma, Italy by Matteo Thun & Partners. Photography by Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.
The Nudes seating collection by Matteo Thun, launched at Salone del Mobile 2019. Photography by Marco Bertolini, courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Gert Wingardh

Continue reading 10 Questions With… Matteo Thun

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Vote For The 2020 ASID National Board Of Directors

Vote Now!

Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS
Chair-Elect

Kerrie Kelly founded Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, a Northern California residential interior design firm focusing on new construction and working with home builders, in 1995. Kerrie is an award-winning interior designer, author, contributor, product designer, and multi-media consultant, helping national brands reach the interior design market.

Kerrie is a fellow, board member, and foundation trustee of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); a Houzz Pro Advisory board member; and a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). She is also an avid representative, speaker, and on-air talent for Outdoor Living and Livable Design initiatives, and a Certified Aging in Place specialist (CAPS). Kerrie has authored two books and is the interior design national spokesperson for Zillow Inc., writing monthly articles for their website and speaking to media outlets about interior design, including The New York Times, Forbes, Globe and Mail, and The Wall Street Journal. She also writes a monthly design column for Style Media Group and is on the editorial board of Furniture, Lighting & Décor magazine.
Kelly’s ASID involvement includes serving as past president of the California Central/Nevada Chapter, as an ASID speaker at High Point Market and Dwell on the topic of thriving in place, as chair of the ASID Aging in Place Council, and as recipient of the Nancy Vincent McClelland Merit Award.

1. Do you approve Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

John Cialone, ASID
Director at-Large

John Cialone, a nationally recognized interior designer, leads a team of more than twenty professionals while managing operations at Chicago-based Tom Stringer Design Partners. As a partner and vice president of his firm, John’s enthusiasm for promoting the interior design industry is contagious. With over twenty-five years of experience, his work has been recognized with many awards and has been widely published. John credits his business sense and success to the training he received as a young professional through leadership roles in ASID, particularly in strategic planning, public speaking, and business development.

John is a member of the Guild Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and is a member of the Leaders of Design Council. He has served as a public speaker to many organizations and has mentored students across the country. John has participated in the 1+ Program, donating his firm’s services and aligning his belief that Design Impacts Life with the firm’s work.

John’s ASID involvement started as a student with positions on the ASID National Student Council. He was a member of the ASID Board of Directors concurrently with his position as National Student Council president. He has held committee and board positions in both the ASID Florida South and ASID Illinois Chapters, and has been active in government affairs starting in Florida as a design student and continuing today as a Registered Interior Designer in Illinois. John was recognized as an ASID Medalist in 2017 and is currently the 2018-2019 ASID Illinois Chapter president. John is the chairperson of the ASID Foundation Fundraising Committee overseeing the Society’s efforts to grow the Foundation’s endowment through individual and corporate gifts and legacy planning.

2. Do you approve John Cialone, ASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Ellen Fisher, Ph.D., FASID
Director at-Large

Ellen Fisher is vice president of Academic Affairs and Dean at the New York School of Interior Design.  She is a Certified Interior Designer in New York, and earned a Ph. D. in Architectural Studies/Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Missouri, where her line of inquiry addressed how teachers use the physical classroom as a tool for teaching literacy.  She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers in July 2018.

Ellen is the author of the recent book, “HOME: Foundations of Enduring Spaces,” published in 2018 by Clarkson Potter/Random House.  New York School of Interior Design is ranked as one of the top interior design programs in the U.S. by DesignIntelligence, which also named Ellen Fisher as one of 2018 and 2019’s Most Admired Design Educators. A member of the Interior Design Educators Council since 1985, and recently named President-Elect, she has presented numerous times at conference and has served IDEC in many volunteer roles.

3. Do you approve Ellen Fisher, Ph.D., FASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Ken Wilson, ASID, FAIA, LEED Fellow
Director at-Large

Ken Wilson is a design principal and the design director for Interiors in the Washington, D.C. office of Perkins+Will. He is also one of two co-global design directors for interiors and serves on Perkins+Will’s Design Board and Sustainability Council.

Ken has been practicing for over 35 years and his portfolio includes architecture, interiors, graphics, and product design. He is the only architect in the world to hold fellowships in the AIA, IIDA, and the Green Building Certification Institute (LEED Fellow). His projects have been published in seven different countries and have received over 120 national and local design awards.

In 2005 Ken was named “Designer of the Year” by Contract magazine, and in 2018 he received the ASID Designer of Distinction Award which annually honors one professional who has established a body of superior work demonstrating creativity, excellence, and innovation. He serves on the Environmental Task Force for the city of Park City, Utah and is a member of the ASID Design Impacts Lives Steering Committee.

4. Do you approve Ken Wilson, ASID, FAIA, LEED Fellow for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID
Director at-Large, Allied

Elizabeth Von Lehe is the design & brand strategy principal at HDR. A seasoned design leader with professional experience across multiple industries, she leads the architecture firm’s efforts to advance a holistic approach to design, embracing not only the built form, but branding, curation, and the development of user experience from every angle.

Von Lehe previously worked at ICRAVE Design, where she served as director of strategy, brand, and architectural design for more than seven years. Before that, she worked for both Target and Lands’ End. Her experience includes developing product collections for both fashion and furniture industries as well as guiding master plans and interior design concepts.

Based in New York, Von Lehe is well known throughout the design professions as a leader in the field of experience design. She is a regular keynote and workshop speaker at the national and chapter levels for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), advocating for experience design to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and integration beyond what most designers usually practice.

Von Lehe is chair of the Executive Advisory Committee for ASID and is a regular graduate mentor and panelist for her alma mater, Columbia University. Her work has been featured in several industry publications and she has been interviewed by national outlets such as Bloomberg and NPR.

5. Do you approve Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Patty Dominguez
Industry Partner Representative

Patricia (Patty) Dominguez, vice president of Architect and Design Sales for Cosentino North America, oversees commercial business development and the kitchen and bath studios business for the global surfacing leader. In her 12 years with Cosentino, the relationships she has cultivated with the country’s leading architects, designers, and kitchen and bath dealers have played an integral part in its exponential growth in the United States, which makes up more than 60 percent of its global sales.

In every role throughout her tenure with Cosentino – Kitchen & Bath sales manager, director of Public Relations, marketing manager, and director of Field Marketing – Dominguez has spearheaded the development and strategy of its invaluable relationships with leading industry organizations, including the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the American Institute of Architects, among others.

Dominguez’s leadership at Cosentino and commitment to the industry have earned her numerous accolades, including the 2015 ASID Industry Partner Merit Award and the 2010 ASID Presidential Award. Her passion for people and relationships is reflected in her commitment to service and philanthropy. She previously sat on the Board of Trustees for the ASID Foundation, and has given her time to many Houston nonprofits, serving as the president of the Latin Women’s Initiative for three years, and working with Prepared 4 Life, Lemonade Day, the Junior League of Houston, and the Neighborhood Centers.

6. Do you approve Patty Domiguez for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *
*Only interior designer and educator members in good standing are eligible to cast a vote for approval of the candidates; member verification will occur upon receipt of ballot from asid@asid.org. 

Continue reading Vote For The 2020 ASID National Board Of Directors

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