Laurina 33: a major renovation for an exclusive mini-hotel

A complete renovation of the building in via Laurina 33 in Rome, designed by the architect Clemente Busiri Vici, has created an exclusive “mini hotel”. The windows and doors with an elegant and essential design were made using the Eku Perfektion systems. The work was carried out by a Roman company, H501 Finestre & Co. of Fabio Piersanti.

The “small is beautiful” philosophy has been influencing the design of hotels  for some years now, the so-called “mini-hotels”, with exclusive and small-sized accommodation facilities, are becoming increasingly popular.

A trend also confirmed by the architect Busiri Vici, his intervention to totally renovate a building in Via Laurina 33 in Rome has given life to an exclusive mini-hotel, refined both architecturally and in its furnishings. «These small structures with 6, 7, 8 rooms, of which 2-3 of a superior level and a possible suite, work very well and are taking on an always more important role in the hotel fabric of Rome,» explains the architect Busiri Vici.

«They are in many respects more flexible and functional than larger hotel chains, which require greater management complexity. These small structures have common areas such as the reception or the breakfast room, they have no permanent staff and access to the structure or rooms is through automatic systems. Lastly, they are realities with an excellent economic return».

A radical restructuring

Before the renovation, the building in via Laurina 33 had substantially only  two large apartments, one on the first floor and one on the second, with a staircase acting as a link between the two floors. The intervention needed was radical.

In the current structure, there is the ground floor with an entrance hall. On the  first floor, which is distributed all along a staircase, there are two bedrooms with bathrooms. There is also a reception area and on the first floor there is also a common area that serves as a breakfast area with a large table and a television. There is also a guest bathroom and a kitchen where breakfasts can be prepared.

In the common area, a large sliding window was installed, 2.20m by 2.60 metres using the Eku Perfektion Slide system. All the windows installed in the rest of the rooms were Eku Perfektion Alu with a single wing, 1.20 by 2 metres, opaque white Ral 9010. «I love making windows with a single wing to give greater brightness and visibility onto the outside» underlines the architect, «in fact, I find that the central visible frame in two-wing window structures is an ugly element from an aesthetic point of view».

The sliding door, unlike all the other windows, is of a steel colour to differentiate the reception area. The sliding door leads onto a small interior patio with greenery, which leads to a storage room that houses the electrical and heating systems and acts as a small warehouse.

Going up to the second floor there are three other rooms, two normal and one superior. «These rooms have a double-height effect, in fact the height of the ceiling varies having a lower false ceiling and a higher wooden-beamed part. I have created lighting turned towards these wooden beams to give a sense of greater space to the rooms».

Climbing a further staircase leads to the suite, a staircase created from zero that differs from the previous ones in materials and style. The other stairs have a wrought iron balustrade with a wooden handrail, whereas the last flight of stairs has a side in white-lacquered wood to which a glass balustrade is attached externally and has an anthracite-coloured carpet. This more airy, open structure allows more light to filter through a window placed above it. Finally, a small elevator has been inserted that connects the various floors.

«I would like to highlight how the building has been completely renovated in its colours. There were initially floors of dark brown wood and a dark brown parquet, etc. and so to brighten the environment we changed the parquet by putting one in oak of a lighter colour. the ceilings have been painted white, while the terracotta tiles have been sandblasted and left as they were. Behind the ceiling beams there are lights and the windows have the maximum glassed area possible. The hotel now has a completely different kind of light».

Eku Perfektion Systems: high performance doors and windows

All the hotel doors and windows have been built with Eku Perfektion systems by the firm H501 Finestre & Co. Srl of Fabio Piersanti, a Roman company of highly specialized professionals. The Eku Perfektion systems were used because of their very minimal and essential structure, which also permit large glassed areas.

The double glazing of the windows and doors is composed of 33.1 SGG Stadip Silence glass on the outside to increase the sound insulation, and on the inside glass 33.1 SGG Planitherm Clear 1.0, low-emissivity glass with a neutral appearance, very close to that of clear glass. The interspace was filled with 90% argon gas with a warm-edge spacer inserted.

The installation took place according to the quality standards set by the ‘Posa Qualità Serramenti brand’, the Profilati Group being among one of the first to adhere to this standard. «One thing to underline» emphasizes Fabio Piersanti «is that all the frames have been completely insulated with foam during the installation to obtain an even greater thermal and acoustic insulation».

The ideal window? Minimal, with a large glassed area and a single wing

«I appreciate the Eku Perfektion range because there are no visible fixtures, it allows you to have larger glassed areas with a minimal profile. In fact, analyzing all my projects,  regarding the fixtures,» says the architect Busiri Vici, «they have to be hidden, if they are visible I try to conceal them by making them  the same colour as the window frame.

Even the gaskets must not be visible, better a white colour or even better transparent. Only one detail is emphasized, the handle, because it is the only decorative element of the window. For this project I chose the Esprit dk handles of Colombo Design, chrome finish.

The most important factors are to have the largest possible glassed areas, the thinnest frame possible and a single wing, because the window has to become like a picture frame. The dimensions of the glassed areas are always the subject of the biggest discussions I have with the window and door manufacturers I work with, but then in the end they are very content, because the result is always very beautiful and elegant, and is also greatly appreciated by clients.

As for the colours of the frame, since the opaque colours were developed, I have never abandoned them.

Even in sliding systems with a single large opening wing, which I try to make disappear inside the wall. I don’t create a double lining, but simply a plasterboard closure or I make a Scrigno-type custom-made frame and insert the frame in the wall.  Even when I do not have enough space to do this and the wing does not fully open, I still aim to have a single wing effect because I do not want to sacrifice the picture frame effect.

I also do my best to embed the lower part of the frame so as to maintain the continuity  between the inside and outside, because the worst thing about a frame is when the lower part acts as a step, a barrier, between the inside and outside. When I can’t avoid this “step”, I ensure that at least the external lower frame is levelled in the floor by the installation of a floating floor.

The opening systems are tilt-and-turn or sliding, wing-carriages don’t convince me because they can create a block underneath that hinders the passage. On the other hand, I love making internal pivot doors, even 2.70 or 2.80 metres high (with a length of up to 80 cm) because the pin, being small, can be inserted into the floor.

The Eku Perfektion systems in addition to minimal profiles, ensure high thermal and acoustic insulation. The windows and doors with SGG Silent glass give an excellent quality guarantee in this sense, without having to adopt any other type of solution.

The effectiveness of this insulation has forced us to develop automatic systems to regenerate the air. Once unwanted drafts gave a certain air exchange, now instead we have rooms that are practically air-tight. However, I must say that air-conditioning systems work well, and now I’m using them even for apartments».

Project summary

 

Type of building Hotel “Laurina 33”
Type of intervention Complete restructuring
Location Via Laurina 33 – Rome
Client Lauro Deluxe Srl
Architectural project
Arch. Clemente Busiri Vici – Rome
Window manufacturer H501 Finestre & Co. Srl – Guidonia Montecalio – Rome
EKU Series
  • Eku Perfektion Alu
  • Eku Perfektion Slide