In part due to its annual design fair, designers have long had a love affair with the Italian metropolis of Milan. Now, Patricia Urquiola has turned the interior of the Room Mate Hotel into a designer's love letter to its host city, replete with pink marble flooring that matches the nearby Milan Duomo, and walls that draw inspiration from the terracotta and terrazzo of the local architecture.
Occupying a renovated building from the late 19th century across the street from one of the world's oldest shopping malls, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Urquiola designed the Giulia Hotel Room Mate's interiors as an ode to Milan's rich pedigree in art, architecture, and design. Many of these nods are done through patterns: for example, a crisscross pattern near the elevators that was done to remind visitors of Sforza Castle's iconic brick towers. Other references are even more abstract: according to Frame, a dashed grid motif running through the hotel is Urquiola's way of paying tribute to Milan's long history in the graphic arts.
Each of the Room Mate Hotel's 85 rooms has been designed to make visitors feel as if they are staying in a genuine Milanese home. Each room is filled with bespoke, handmade furniture from Italian furniture brand Cassina, and the walls are covered in exclusively Milanese artworks. Throughout, the rooms use a mixture of the dashed grid and muted paint colors, again evoking the natural color palette of Milan. The walls and ceilings, in other words, are made to look as if the room itself sprung to life from a designer's dotted grid paper.
Urquiola herself, of course, is no stranger to Milan's charms: she's had her studio in the city since 2001. That makes her the perfect person to design Milan's newest design-friendly hotel. The Italians are famous for their hospitality, but thanks to Urquiola's work, now you can stay in a genuine-feeling Italian home even when you don't know anyone in Milan. And the host of that home has some pretty exquisite taste. You can book a reservation here.
[Photos: via Patricia Urquiola]