Title Image


Project type: Hotel


Location: Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy


Status: Competition


Time: 2016


Size: 8,700 m2

Single Parenting Retreat


The Single Parenting Retreat lies at the southern tip of Lake Garda on a small promontory that offers a breath taking panoramic view of the lake and the Alps beyond. GRAFT designed a building that responds to the specific characteristics of this location.


A green wall around and above the hotel serves as a protective enclosure that is given added colour through seasonal planting that attract birds and butterflies. The motif of the butterfly served as inspiration for the design. The main hotel is divided in two connected (butterfly) wings, reducing the overall volume of the building and creating three thematic ‘bays’ that connect with the landscape: to the east an area for sports and children’s activities, to the north a spa area and pools, and to the west the restaurant and associated outdoor areas.


Visitors pass through a kind of green curtain into the lobby that opens onto the lake and the panorama of the Alps beyond. A tree in the centre of the room connects the different levels vertically while at the same time emphatically ‘rooting’ the building in the ground. From here one can reach all areas of the hotel: the public bar and restaurant on the entrance level, the spa and wellness areas below and the rooms on the upper floors.

The orientation of the building volume is configured to afford all rooms an expansive view of the surrounding landscape. With the help of sliding glazed windows, the room interiors connect seamlessly with greened balconies and terraces that serve as private outdoor spaces. All the rooms are conceived as part of an expansive flowing landscape. Clay plaster and wood finishes as the dominant materials establish a connection with local building traditions and create a familiar, comfortable and sheltering atmosphere.


The children’s sleeping area in each room is conceived as a cocoon that can be separated off and offers the same fantastic view of the surroundings as the parent’s bed. A daybed, strategically-placed for daydreaming at the transition between indoors and outdoors, can also be used as additional children’s bed.