Room Mate’s Patricia Urquiola-Designed Hotel Giulia Brings Affordable Luxury to Milan
Frequently cited as one of the most influential designers of the last twenty years, Patricia Urquiola’s work can be found within hotels, restaurants, retail spaces, art galleries and private residences across the globe. Her ability to marry the formal and familiar, and the flamboyant with the functional, has propelled the Spanish-born, Milan-based designer into regular collaborations with brands such as Cassina, Moroso, Missoni and Panerai to name just a few. Today the Urquiola name is synonymous with luxury, which is why her studio’s latest collaboration with affordable hotel group Room Mate is an unexpected but very pleasant surprise.
Located in the heart of Milan, just a few steps from Piazza del Duomo and the Vittorio Emanuele gallery, the newly inaugurated 85-room Hotel Giulia is targeted at the style- and budget-conscious traveller.
As ever, Urquiola’s appeal lies in her ability to mix and match, and that’s exactly what she’s done here; sumptuous textiles and natural materials are paired with industrial mesh and sharp geometric patterns while color palettes harmoniously overlay neutrals with accents of vibrant color.
The hotel’s furnishings are for the most part designed by Urquiola and custom-made by Cassina, however her studio’s pieces for Kartell, Moroso, Kettal and Flos also make an appearance and custom versions of Joe Colombo’s Coupé 2202 and Coupé 3321 lamps were created especially for the hotel using lighting brand Oluce’s bespoke tailoring service.
If you look more closely within Urquiola’s decidedly contemporary interior you’ll find subtle nods to typical Italian domestic spaces of the midcentury, or the “essence of Milan” as Urquiola puts it. A pink marble floor in the hotel lobby is the same as that used in the nearby Duomo while terracotta bricks, another typical feature of Milanese architecture, are used to create a sweeping curved wall. On the walls guests can enjoy the work of photographers and illustrators who are all, of course, proudly Milanese.
“It’s new, fresh, fun and welcoming,” enthuses Urquiola of Room Mate’s new Milanese address. “The hotel reflects the city through its colors, materials, images, irony, the mix of different languages and also its rigour, all with the most intimate accuracy.”