Contemporary blue and white
It was the early sixties when Giò Ponti was commissioned to design a hotel in the Sorrento Gulf, in Poggio del Conte in Siracusa, a location already steeped in history and nature, dating back to the 1700s and set in a centuries-old park.
Here, this great tireless maestro of Italian design and architecture created the Parco dei Principi, one of the first examples of design hotel in the world. A piece of architecture with its own soul that serenely dominates the landscape, thanks to a minimal project that was, however, innovative for its time.
Inside, the unmistakable blue and white decor of the floors use just one tile format to the create different geometric patterns characterising the separate indoor areas and innovating the language of the ancient local ceramics tradition. A clever use of shapes that alternate and define the rhythm of the rooms.
Blue and white are also the colours of the pebbles embedded as a collage in the walls, this too linked by design to the seascape and to manual artisan skills: on their shiny surface the light reflects in the same way it does on the waves in the sea, contrasting with the bright white of the matt mortar holding them in place.
This special place marks the start of a contemporary interpretation of ceramic. A material symbolic of decor in the sixties that, thanks to technology, has recently become a trend in design and furnishings.
An element that manages to decorate, characterise and personalise, thanks to its many colour palettes and infinite graphic designs.
Main players in the hotel are also its furnishings, again designed by Giò Ponti, like the famous Superleggera and Lisa chairs, some of the most emblematic, most oft-mentioned industrial design products from the twentieth century.
A style that unmistakably embodies those particular years, so significant for Italian and international design, through a flow of meanings and inspiration. Here the Agave collection by Ethimo finds its natural continuity, the soft shapes of the seats and the minimalism of the metal structures exuding a contemporary elegance that blends harmoniously with the architecture. Even the colours and decorations on the cushions are in perfect accord with the patterns on the tiles featured throughout the Parco dei Principi.