Hotel Parco dei Principi
Designed by Gio Ponti
In 1961, engineer and entrepreneur Roberto Fernandes bought two plots of land–one in Sorrento and one in Rome–to build the Hotel Parco dei Principi and recruited Gio Ponti to design both. The hotel in Sorrento was built from the ground-up while in Rome, Ponti had the challenge of working with a pre-existing structure. The hotel in Sorrento prominently featured ceramic mosaics, circular motifs and was almost completely blue and white, complementing the vast sea and sky that surrounded it. The look of the Rome hotel took on a decidedly more mod style, with green being the predominant color, diamond shapes being used throughout, marble and travertine accents and furnishings designed by Ponti and produced by Cassina. Mirrors were also employed to bring light and expansiveness into the re-purposed spaces, creating a more modern feel in the older building.
The hotel featured 200 rooms, two bars, a beauty salon, restaurants and banquet halls that could accommodate over a thousand people.
While the Sorrento Hotel Parco is preserved nearly exactly how Ponti designed it in 1961, the Rome Hotel Parco's interiors have since been re-designed by Massimo and Maurizio Papiri in the style of a luxurious 17th century Italian villa. This sofa, which would have originally been in the bar (as pictured below), is a fantastic example of a 1960s Italian take on fashionable global modernism.