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Hotel Porta Mascarella, revolutionizing hierarchies

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The reception on the tenth floor, with a panoramic terrace overlooking the center of Bologna: Value One arrives in the city with a project that is also urban redevelopment

It is a project, that of the Hotel Porta Mascarella, which tries to undermine many of the most rooted and consolidated habits, both architectural and related to the use of spaces, but also a symbol of a different connection between the historic center of Bologna and a former area railway. Signed by the Open Project studio, it marks the arrival in the city of Value One, an international real estate investor based in Vienna, already known for the management of urban districts such as the Viertel Zwei business center in Vienna and the Milestone premium student apartments present throughout Europe. The project is currently under construction: the completion of the works, which began last year, is scheduled for 2023.

With its strong identity as an urban landmark, located on the edge of deeply different areas of the city with the intention of reconnecting them and making them accessible to a diverse audience of people, the structure is characterized precisely by its innovative idea of ​​hospitality and distribution of environments with respect to functions. If, traditionally, the lobby, common areas and check-in areas meet on the lower floors of a hotel, in the case of Porta Mascarella these areas are taken to the higher levels, which are accompanied by additional areas available to the whole territory, not just the guests. In other words, a building that could be defined as hybrid, by virtue of the multiplicity of services offered, from those purely designed for the business world to those for slow and sustainable tourism, up to those for stays dedicated to physical activity or gourmet dining experiences. But also a further meeting point for citizenship.

This high area of ​​the structure, from an architectural point of view, is clearly identifiable from a distance from its south facade with an alternation of more or less opaque squares and profiles and with a play of transparencies, but also from its more compact north facade. At night, it glows like a rim of upper light.

The structure of the Hotel Porta Mascarella

Arranged on twelve levels above ground, plus one underground, the Hotel Porta Mascarella has as its beating heart the tenth floor with its square called Sky Square: it is at this level terraced with a glass parapet, open towards the historic center of Bologna, which in fact, the various services open to the whole community are articulated, such as a bar, a restaurant, a lounge dominated by a large fountain and co-working and smart working spaces, as well as the reception for guests of the accommodation facility.

On the lower floor, on the ninth, there is a conference room and a gymnasium facing south, overlooking the city center, while to the north there are some of the 305 total rooms.

"We imagined this hotel as a panoramic window - explained Francesco Conserva, at the helm of Open Project together with Maurizio Piolanti -, which reveals an unprecedented Bologna and makes it accessible to all, with the large square to the south facing the hills and to the north, a top part in backlit sheet metal, which at night becomes a luminous lantern. A space of great beauty and refinement but not for this elitist, which manifests its value in the ability to include and be accessible to all".

The geographical location of the connection between areas of the city with different faces, one to be redeveloped between Borgo Masini and the bundle of railway tracks and one with historical features within the walls, but also close to the Fair, is therefore reflected in the desire to reconnect an audience of people with the most disparate interests, rhythms of life and habits. If, on the one hand, its position is strategic for those arriving in Bologna for work purposes, on the other hand it is equally so for those who are in the city for a private stay, with friends or family: it is for this reason, and with the desire to respond to the travel needs of the greatest number of people inclined to soft mobility (among the principles to be valued from the very first steps of the project), that on the ground floor there is a bicycle rental connected to the adjacent cycle paths, which lead both towards Bologna Centrale station, either towards the opposite side of the ring road or towards via Stalingrado (therefore towards the Fiera area).

Energy efficiency

Ecological, innovative and attentive to its environmental impact thanks to solutions that touch the facade, ventilation and the use of materials, all with a view to a better quality of life inside the hotel: with these priorities, the accommodation facility is designed by Open Project to aim for a LEED© Gold certification.

"A central element is the attention to building technologies and materials, which make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions related to construction - underlined Marco Capelli, LEED AP Building Design + Construction of Open Project -. When we design a building, we want it to consume little, to be durable and flexible to adapt to changes over time, to minimize the environmental impact. These elements make up the concrete, real sustainability of a project".

Original article