B4 Milano hotel: a blend of architecture and sense stimulation

Architecture within architecture in which experience is transformed into active memory

by Malcolm Clark
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Simone Micheli was awarded an honourable mention in the International Best of Year Awards 2012 in the category Foreign Hospitality for his project of the newborn B4 Milano hotel.

The Boscolo Group's B4 Hotel is located near the Rho-Fiera and Fiera Milano City trade fair grounds and the future home of Expo 2015. The new Hotel “was established to review, unhinge and completely renew the criteria of the whole category and of its strategies of promotion and communication.”

The client defines it “hybrid, transversal, full of varied contaminations and co-perceptions, a place of wonder, culture, nature and metropolitan taste, [...] setting the standard for future hotels to come. Externally distinctive and hieratic, thanks to the careful work of the architect Giancarlo Marzorati, and internally iconic and super functional, thanks to the dynamic sign of the architect Simone Micheli”.

Starting from the concept of hotel as a place of freedom, of the absence of constraints, a place sometimes preferred even to one's own house” - says the architect Marzorati - “with the B4 Hotel we wanted to identify the basis of the professional hospitality of today's traveller. The design of hotel B4 bases its philosophy on the concept that each guest has their own history and habits. Knowing, or even only sensing, the different requirements of the guest is the first and fundamental step towards satisfying their needs.”

The B4 hotel, with its exceptional location, in a context that is rapidly turning into attractive and futuristic district near the site of the next Expo, represents “the always open and tangible door of hospitality to the traveller.”

The building consists of three floors of underground car park and reception areas, a circular platform with three floors above ground and a vertical body of 16 floors. The “circular platform” is used as reception, welcoming and conference area. On the ground floor the hall, waiting, service and entertainment areas in the lobby that connects the two upper conference levels independently, and the restaurant area provide intense emotional involvement, a “magical” atmosphere through shapes and colours. The entrance suggests abandoning the outside world, the stress, the commitments of the city with its turmoil, slowing down and entering a fairy tale, the beginning of a new and original story, that deserves to be experienced emotionally, like a film. On the third floor there is a wellness centre, while the upper level uses the covering square of the circular volume for entertainment, in a welcoming and discreet roof garden compared to the accessible level of the roadway.

B4 is a hotel-work of art which originates from the creation of a unique history which has an inherent sign of shared recognition” says Simone Micheli. “In this aspect, the hotel-work of art is not such for its beauty, on the basis of mere aesthetic and stylistic criteria, but for its message of global coherence that it transmits and the all-encompassing experience that it sets in motion in its user, in which experience is transformed into active memory”.

The interiors of B4 are designed as an architecture within architecture, a harmonious collection capable of looking beyond the barrier of known reality to generate innovative high-tech content and language, which is at the same time user-friendly and sustainable in economic and environmental terms. The common areas have been redesigned, with a view to creating hybrid spaces, contaminating functions to meet the most diverse needs of the guests. Plant-like sculptures make up the entire structural and functional apparatus of the ground floor. Columns, reception desks, the reception counter, the bar counter, the cook-show top, were created from glossy, fluid, dynamic material, a continuous flight from the usual stereometric geometries.”

Not only is the vision studied, planned, but the choice of melodies, the effects of natural and artificial lighting, the fragrances, also differ for the same three-dimensional sphere, determining completely different answers from the receiver of the message.”

B4 Milano does not intend to be a business hotel or a simple super-design hotel: it is a three-dimensional manifestation of the possible and desired union between architecture, sense stimulation and excellence; of the synergy and blend between iconic fully functional furniture in plastic and fluid shapes, and the private experience of the guest who experiences this space surrounded by vibrant energy, the bearer of renewal and regeneration.”

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    Barcelo Milan 7

    Barcelo Milan

    Milan / Italy / 2012