Hotel Torre Fiore

A Gentle Invasion on the Basento Valley

Torre Fiore was a 16th cen­tu­ry for­ti­fied masse­ria built to defend itself against invaders. Respect­ful­ly restored, its her­itage intact, and out­fit­ted for the 21st cen­tu­ry with a host of mod­ern com­forts, Torre Fiore has been trans­formed into an inti­mate hotel, “at-the-ready” for its new inva­sion.

Torre Fiore rests on the edge of the Basen­to Val­ley.

On the edge of a pic­turesque val­ley, the for­mer Caso­lare del­la Tenu­ta Fiore, an his­toric walled-in farm com­plex is recon­cep­tu­al­ized as a 13-suite “fort resort.” Embraced by its pro­tec­tive walls and robust look­out tow­er, the renamed Torre Fiore is locat­ed in the large­ly undis­cov­ered sub­lime pae­sag­gio over­look­ing the Ion­ian coast of Basil­i­ca­ta, Italy.

The design, in the spir­it of the Casale’s sto­ried past, is con­ceived as a 21st cen­tu­ry gen­tle inva­sion. Instal­la­tions of con­tem­po­rary ele­ments in dis­tressed wood, local and Per­sian stone, glass and pome­gran­ate uphol­stery are posi­tioned revealed against the care­ful­ly restored vin­tage struc­ture in antic­i­pa­tion of the newest “invad­er” – today’s tourist. Trav­el­ers eager to ven­ture in this lit­tle-known yet extra­or­di­nary ter­ri­to­ry are met with a con­cep­tion of con­trast­ing inter­ven­tions of com­fort whose rich­ness par­al­lels that of the rus­tic land­scape.

Free­stand­ing, over­sized head­boards sit skewed in the lofty casede to con­ceal the glazed bath­rooms and rain-head show­ers that some­times spill their pris­tine bath­tub out into the open. Strands of for­eign mate­ri­als, such as mir­rored glass, mar­ble, leather, and fab­rics insert them­selves unex­pect­ed­ly into the new and restored sur­faces as a way to expose the sur­gi­cal inter­ven­tions which defines this new occu­pa­tion.

Ulti­mate­ly, the ruin is brought back to life with great effort to pre­cise­ly restore the hand­craft­ed roofs, mason­ry, ter­ra­cot­ta tiles, hewn-wood, and white­washed stuc­co. The for­ti­fi­ca­tion is then some­what dis­armed by a sup­ple and lay­ered archi­tec­ture to cre­ate a loose exclu­siv­i­ty, breached only by the out­door restau­rant ter­race and infin­i­ty-edge pool that meet the edge of the uncon­t­a­m­i­nat­ed val­ley.

“The Torre Fiore expe­ri­ence oscil­lates between a lux­u­ry of com­fort and a relaxed infor­mal­i­ty, between the rich­ness of the rus­tic land­scape and the rich­ness of a con­tem­po­rary design inter­ven­tion.” Sta­cy Shoe­mak­er Rauen, Hos­pi­tal­i­ty Design

The once pro­duc­tive but obso­lete farm com­plex is adap­tive­ly reused to host trav­el­ers as they dis­cov­er this lit­tle-known area of Italy. The design lever­ages the raw sim­plic­i­ty of the exist­ing, exquis­ite struc­ture to achieve an ide­al lev­el of com­fort by sim­ple means.

One of the original fireplaces in the neglected structure now restored
One of the orig­i­nal fire­places in the neglect­ed struc­ture now restored.

The mas­sive mason­ry offers a nat­ur­al cool­ing effect dur­ing the hours of hot sun, and the orig­i­nal, gen­er­ous fire­places work well to pro­vide occa­sion­al sup­ple­men­tary heat­ing dur­ing those few, cool nights. The exist­ing, dra­mat­ic struc­tures are not just restored and strength­ened, but enhanced by the the­atri­cal con­trast of the new archi­tec­ture and land­scape ele­ments.

The Torre Fiore expe­ri­ence oscil­lates between a lux­u­ry of com­fort and a relaxed infor­mal­i­ty, between the rich­ness of the rus­tic land­scape and the rich­ness of a con­tem­po­rary design inter­ven­tion. The result is a sense of ease, a relaxed lux­u­ry enclosed by arched door­ways and thick defense walls, pro­tect­ed by tur­rets and the main tow­er build­ing whose low­er car­riage-horse stalls are exca­vat­ed to ren­der more dra­mat­ic their glo­ri­ous vaults. One- and two-bed­room suites expand beyond exist­ing demis­ing walls through deep open­ings to encounter orig­i­nal fire­places and recon­struct­ed tim­ber and ter­ra­cot­ta ceil­ings.

Project Facts

  • Client

    Hotel Torre Fiore & FRAM Italia

  • Location

    Pis­tic­ci, Basil­i­ca­ta, Italy

  • Size

    14,150 sq. ft.

  • Status


  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Struc­tur­al — Ing. Roc­co Sal­va­tore Glan­nace

    Mechan­i­cal — Ing. Michele Glac­ull: Stu­dio Tec­ni­co

    Elec­tri­cal — Aerre Asso­ciati

  • Fabricator

    Mill­work — L’alveare coop a.r.l.

  • Construction Manager

    Stu­dio Tec­ni­co Sas­sone

  • Photography

    Mario Di Pao­lo

  • Artist / Graphics

    Graph­ic Design — Won­der Inc