A location like no other nestled in the Pustertal Valley, the Falkensteiner Family Resort Lido is a highly successful hotel with a unique identity further enhanced by its redesign by studio noa* – a project that underscores the ethos of the location itself building on its aesthetics, sustainability and services.
This is a historic hotel located in the town of Casteldarne, the first opened by the Falkensteiner family, which today runs a group of more than 30 hospitality facilities in six countries. Established in 1957 on the edge of the village on the shore of a small lake, the family resort has gradually expanded by addressing a well-defined target audience, that of families with children.
The goal of the intervention was to add new spaces and functions that would reinforce this vocation, creating a kind of playground for young guests and, at the same time, a place for parents to relax. All harmoniously set in the beautiful alpine context.
The solution of noa*, which designed the new structure, surprisingly started from the roof: the traditional pitched roof of the old hotel complex was replaced by a wide wave structure that covers new and existing buildings, gradually sloping down on both sides until it disappears into the ground. A kind of hill, then, that integrates with the landscape by covering itself with vegetation, becoming a ski slope, skating rink, playground, adventure park, and recreation area.
“We wanted to unite old and new into a uniform whole,” explains architect Andreas Profanter. The new roof allowed us to connect the various buildings in the complex and link them with the surrounding nature. But also to invent new spaces, such as the ski slope, that enrich the offer to families.”
Falkensteiner Family Resort Lido: playing on the roof
The roof designed by noa* stretches over a length of 300 meters over an area of 4,900 square meters and in the central part reaches a height of 18 meters. It is an element of strong innovation, therefore, in shape, size and materials used.
The structure was made of reinforced concrete in the newly built part, while where it rests on the existing building, a system of steel beams and wood was adopted. It is covered with metal shingles that, like a second skin, perfectly follow the curves and undulations of the roof.
On this large roof, traversed by a loop trail on which guests can pleasantly stroll, is a recreational park that offers several stations for sports and entertainment. One of the two slopes, the one facing east, is partly occupied by the ski slope, which is 163 meters long and equipped with a lift carpet. Open to all resort guests, it is particularly suitable for children, who can learn to ski guided by an instructor without moving from the hotel. In addition, the artificial bottom, allows it to be used all year round, as is also the case with the skating rink, which is located at the highest point of the roof.
On the other side, facing west, are a large fitness area for the whole family, a bobby car track, and an elevated mini adventure park, below which is a field for soccer, basketball, and other activities. Here, a 120-meter-long water slide winds above the lake to a basement area occupied by other play spaces and the swimming pool: with its bright yellow spirals, the slide stands out against the landscape and becomes the symbol of a facility entirely dedicated to the recreation and adventure of its young guests.
Throughout, recreational spaces are alternated with green areas that create a continuity with the valley’s forests.
“We literally made nature go up to the roof,” notes Profanter. “The goal, in fact, was to strengthen the link between the facility and the landscape, without consuming land, but rather creating new value and sustainability.”
Falkensteiner Family Resort Lido: a new aesthetic
“Our idea was also to renew the appearance of the original structure,” continues architect Wolfgang Heinz. “We therefore did not just enclose the new and existing parts of the resort under one roof, but also worked on the facades to make the different architectural elements homogeneous.”
Significant, in addition to the choice of a single color for all wall structures, is the adoption of geometric patterns in natural wood that punctuate the building, evoking old alpine barns.
The relationship between the resort and the small lake it overlooks has also been “redesigned,” with the creation of an artificial hill along one bank, under which the adult spa finds space. A new large terrace opens onto the lakefront, and the pool, partly covered, extends over the water mirror, giving guests the experience of an authentic immersion in nature.
Falkensteiner Family Resort Lido: nature and play for interiors
The noa* team designed the resort’s interiors, not only in the new parts, but also in the existing parts, which have been redesigned, and in some cases expanded.
“As with the exteriors, guiding the interior design were, on the one hand, the goal of creating a playful, child-friendly atmosphere and, on the other hand, a reference to the natural environment surrounding the resort,” clarifies interior designer Barbara Runggatscher.
The restaurant, which has been expanded to include a terrace and play area for children, has been organized on three levels to allow all diners to share the view of the lake.
“At each level, the décor changes: from the forest-inspired motifs of the innermost area to the lily pad-shaped seating of the intermediate area, to the reed beds recalled by the special shape of the lamps that illuminate the tables near the terrace,” the designer explains.
In the buffet area, built from scratch, the lively atmosphere of a marketplace was recreated, however, with a variety of differently shaped stations, taking on the appearance now of little houses now of wooden carts on wheels: differentiated heights allow access for children and ample visibility of the kitchen areas and thus of food preparation activities.
The entrance and reception area of the hotel maintain the original layout but are renovated in aesthetics. Here, the presence of numerous pillars inspired a new décor characterized by round shapes, bright colors, and decorations that recall the flora and fauna of the forest. Finally, a cozy space with swing rides for the little ones complements a lounge entirely dedicated to parents.
Falkensteiner Family Resort Lido: a nest in the room
The noa* project also made it possible to add 36 new rooms to the existing 82. It was an opportunity to define a new room type that, declined in different variations, characterizes the resort’s offer aimed at families. The rooms include an area for parents and an area for children, separated from each other by a sliding partition, and a large bathroom with sinks at different heights.
“In the children’s area there are always three beds available, one of which, suspended from the ceiling, is a kind of nest-bed, inspired by the hawk, which is the symbol of the hotel, and even when it is not occupied it always becomes an opportunity for play and fun for the little ones,” concludes interior architect Caterina Betti.