Public areas of a hotel in Rome: Sneak peek

Fit-out of a hotel in Rome: Devoto Design is working on the complex double-curving surfaces designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the public areas.


Today we’ll sneak a peek inside one of the most prestigious construction sites we have in Rome, and we’ll tell you about a construction technology we came up with to manufacture these double-curving surfaces.

Our works with Zaha Hadid Architects

Dame Zaha Hadid Mohammad was an architect and designer of Iraqi origins. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize in 2004. She was also awarded the Stirling Prize both in 2010 and 2011.

TIME MAGAZINE enlisted Zaha Hadid among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010.

Zaha Hadid was doubtlessly one of the most authoritative and innovative architects of our era, and today the firm that bears her name is one of the most appreciated in the world.

Devoto had already had the honour of working with Zaha Hadid Architects on complex double-curving surfaces, custom finishes and shapes. For instance:

  • the ORGANIC-SHAPED desks inside the MAXXI Museum, the 21st-century arts museum in Rome
  • the CURVING WOODEN CLADDING  in the public areas of the City Life housing in Milan.

Happy and proud of working on a new project with them, today we are delivering the public areas of a prestigious hotel in Rome.

Hotel public areas fit-out: a Sneak Peek of the boutique

Reception, restaurant, café, Spa, massage rooms. And again: fitness area, library, cigar room, boutique. Imagine all the furniture and fittings in the typical Zaha Hadid design: organic shapes, sinuous corners, smooth and uninterrupted surfaces, compact finishes.

In this large construction and creativity site, we’ll sneak a peek of the boutique interiors that we are delivering at the moment.

Specifically, we’ll talk about the uninterrupted curving cladding of the ceiling and walls.

Double-curving panels in wood finish for the ceiling and walls

Well, the cladding is made of big curving portions in ebony wood veneer.

Are you wondering why we used ebony veneer and not solid ebony wood? Well, the answer is simple. Panels of such size – some of them more-than-5-meters long – can be subject to small deformations as time goes by, and in such a cladding even the smallest deformation can represent a risk for the whole structure. And this is because wood – as we like to say – is a living material. 

So, to avoid the risk of deformations on such delicate shapes and curves, we opted for another material: resin.

Public areas fit-out of a hotel in Rome: the curving panels

After an accurate Value engineering, we came to the conclusion that the most suitable construction technology for this kind of surface was the resin that we eventually veneered with ebony wood by matching the wood grains.

To be sure of the performance of both materials and of their combination as well, we decided for a rapid prototyping. So we produced some resin panels and we finished them with ebony wood veneer. Then we ran some thermal stress tests.

What the tests revealed

These thermal tests (prolonged exposition to heat first and cold afterwards) were necessary for us to verify any possible deformation, dilation, cracking or any other mutation of the surface of the panels.

Unluckly the tests were positive, and we found out that the surface was damaged because of the change of temperature and humidity. Of course this meant that the visual impact was affected too. So we went back to the analysis phase.

The solution? “Baking” the panels

Thanks to this technology it was actually possible to accelerate and concentrate in a few hours the “ageing” process of the resin that would normally take years. This made our surface stable and unaffectable by thermal changes.

DID YOU KNOW? By “baking” the resin it is possible to eliminate any trace of solvent and therefore reduce the possibility of deformation or cracking.

Here are some pictures of the finished panels:

Hotel in Rome fit-out: did you like this sneak peek?

We hope you enjoyed this quick peek inside one of our construction sites. Follow us for more updates and sneak peeks.. 

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