by Paolo Ferrarini of Future Concept Lab
Despite Milan's de facto world design capital status, the city lacks design hotels. Boscolo Exedra, a new hotel opening very soon, will fill the gap. The former bank, after one year and €150 million in renovations, now hosts 154 rooms, nine thematic suites (including Cinema, Sport, Family, Romantic and Milano) and conference rooms with a stunning view looking out on the Duomo.
Entirely conceived by designer and architect Italo Rota, the five-star luxury hotel sits in the heart of the fashion district and aims to become a hub of Italian design with many provocations against the design status quo.
Italian in every way, Meritalia custom made the furniture that decorates the public areas; the three restaurants devote their menus to Italian food; products by Italian design icons (Driade, Artemide, Fontana Arte, and a guest appearance by Tom Dixon) populate all the rooms and suites; and the beautiful Lambruscheria, a bar where local wines accompany local food, heighten the allure of the champagne bar.
Two gigantic colorful columns inspired by a Lombard Carnival character, Arlecchino, set the tone of the hall, which more than 4,000 LED lights up. The lighting system automatically changes color and intensity according to the season, hour and external weather conditions in efforts to create the perfect atmosphere.
Technology and high-end services play a pivotal role at the Exedra. The spa, at 600 square meters is the biggest in a hotel in Milan and filled with hi-tech gadgetry. The relaxation area's impressive 15 meter screen reproduces moving images, in synch with lights, sounds and perfumes, according to the principles of aromatherapy and chromo therapy. The small and discrete reception doesn't see much use—one of the 20 guest assistants welcomes every client and acts as a full service concierge with a direct phone number during guests entire stay.