noa* sensitively transforms 17th-century monastic garden into wellness haven

by Megan Whitby | 30 Sep 2021
Monastero Arx Vivendi is a refuge that takes you back in time
– Francesco Padovan

Architecture and interior design firm Network of Architecture (noa*) has breathed new life into the former Monastery Serve di Maria Addolorata in Trentino, situated at the northern tip of the iconic Lake Garda in Italy.

Noa*’s vision was to restore the building’s spiritual dimension and make its most distinctive elements the main features of a charming hotel, named Monastero Arx Vivendi.

The 40-room complex and its extensive garden are encompassed by original seven-metre-high walls and date back to the second half of the 17th century. The noa* project consisted of two main phases; renovating and converting the monastery into a hotel and the development of a new 500sq m wellness area.

Half of the Monastery building, which also hosts a church and cloister, where nuns continue to live, has been left untouched.

Situated in the monastery garden, the spa consists of seven light glass and metal volumes positioned along a stone spine, which look out onto the location’s lush green courtyard.

Inside the spa, everything is designed to generate a sense of calm and relaxation, from the milled wood panels that echo the stylised pomegranate symbol of the monastery, to the benches of the bio sauna, which encourage meditation and are reminiscent of a prayer room.

“Monastero Arx Vivendi is a refuge that takes you back in time, closely centred around the history and the particular features of this place,” explains Francesco Padovan, the noa* architect who developed the architectural project.

“Every construction choice, every material and detail, has been studied to draw on the majesty of the pre-existing context, exalting it and giving it new life.”.

The spa is home to three relaxation rooms, two saunas, a hammam, two treatment rooms and a thermal cycle that revolves around a large heated dark stone.

Noa* finished the wellness area with materials and decor to create a warm and calming atmosphere – details include warm tones of bleached oak, linen-effect textiles and cotton.

From a design perspective, the underlying vision was to maintain the typical monastery architecture, preserve the original design of the internal paths and extend its geometrical rigour to the new volumes, paying close attention to the choice of materials and colours.

The spa’s connecting spine – composed of a series of pillars covered in Vicenza stone and a horizontal architrave in pre-fabricated and sandblasted concrete – was constructed to match the stone pilastrade of the raised channel that runs along the eastern side of the convent.

“When designing this area, our aim was to create a dialogue with the surrounding agricultural landscape more so than with the monastery,” concluded Padovan.

“To do this we used very simple elements with strong structural clarity. The light metal framework, organised in pillars and beams, is inspired by the characteristic lemon houses of rural Lake Garda.”

noa* architects  Hofer Group 
Related stories

Historic 17th-century monastery operating as wellness sanctuary for exhausted healthcare workers

noa* reimagines alpine wellness retreat to merge seamlessly with mountain landscape

noa*’s Silena Hotel fuses client wishes with architect’s desires

Architecture and interior design firm Network of Architecture (noa*) has breathed new life into the former Monastery Serve di Maria Addolorata in Trentino, situated at the northern tip of the iconic Lake Garda in Italy. Noa*’s vision was to restore the building’s spiritual dimension and make its most distinctive elements the main features of a charming hotel, named Monastero Arx Vivendi. The 40-room complex and its extensive garden are encompassed
CLD,SAB,HOT,ARC,DES
Half of the Monastery building, which also hosts a church and cloister, where nuns continue to live, has been left untouched / Alex Filz
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The BIG U high water barrier is 16km long, and incorporates community facilities
Kai-Uwe Bergmann
"BIG U is us starting the foundation work for a future resilient city."

The 'BIG culture ambassador' on the BIG U

It took three months to install the capsules on to the mountainside. They offer amazing views
Mountain climbing guide Ario Ferri created the capsules
"Installing the sleeping capsules took ropes, pulleys, cables...and lots of guts"

Installing sleeping capsules on the side of a Peruvian cliff

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Facilities include a spin studio
DMAC’s Dwayne MacEwen
"The hotel concept came late in the game, but it was an inspired idea"

The newly renovated Chicago Midtown Athletic Club features a boutique hotel, a pool-come-ice rink and spaces designed by Venus Williams

Light has been used to brighten the gym and motivate its users
Gabriel Gomera
"We used light, colour and air as our main materials"

Using light and colour to bring a Spanish gym to life

Meis has engaged directly with Everton fans while designing their new stadium
Meis has helped design some of the world’s most successful stadiums
"It’s one of the tragedies of the US that so many of our stadiums get replaced after 20 years"

The Everton and AS Roma stadium architect talks through the challenges and rewards of sports facility design

features
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

David Collins and Iain Watson
Dublin-born David Collins moved to London in the 1980s and founded David Collins Studio in 1985
"The Studio is such a big part of our lives, that it just continued, albeit through a very challenging period"

David Collins was behind the design of many of London’s hottest destinations Today his legacy lives on via the studio’s glamorous international projects

cladkit product news
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates