G-Rough, the new Dolce Vita

Petra Ruta

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1 MAR 2017
Set against a backdrop of quintessentially Roman architecture, the rough-lux hospitality trend spreads its wings: sophisticated and never ostentatious, this brand of luxury celebrates iconic Italian design

If Anita Ekberg had been in her pomp in the third millennium she and her diva ways would surely have been regulars in the non-conventional entrance hall of G-Rough, the stylish hotel set in the heart of Rome, looking out onto the cupola of Sant’Agnese in Piazza Navona.

“Marcello, come here!” she might have cried from the dreamlike, kaleidoscopic modern wine gallery, where guests enter and check in. In this space is a satin brass counter, bronze-coloured mirror walls, original 1950s sofas and coffee tables, hexagonal white and red tiles on the floor and masses of lush foliage towering over the seating area, creating a winter garden effect. Set over five floors, ten suites now populate this 17th-century building with its rough-luxury style, born of the juxtaposition of subdued, historic luxury and plain walls which give a glimpse of the original plaster and many stories of this building’s past.

Furniture is salvaged and upcycled to create a new, sophisticated elegance. The brains behind the project are Gabriele Salini and the brilliant – and prematurely departed – Emanuele Garosci: friends, business partners and bon vivants who teamed up with the architect Giorgia Cerulli to merge luxury hospitality with a contemporary, cosmopolitan vibe.
The result is a space that seems like a home, but of course offers all the services of a hotel, where the memory and beauty of the past stands side by side with modern aesthetics. It’s not hard to imagine Ekberg sidling past the timeless furniture, which is provided by the likes of Ponti, Parisi and Ulrich. She might brush lightly against the sumptuous Society Limona linen that adorns the beds, tables and bathrooms.

All of the pieces in G-Rough were unearthed and chosen by interior designers Vittorio Mango and Benedetta Salini, who trawled countless vintage studios, auctions, modern furniture fairs and workshops. They were then evenly distributed throughout the five Pasquino Suites, which look out onto the square, and the five regular suites, which look inwards. The Pasquino Suites each have their own name, in homage to their designers, and feature different furniture while all generally adhering to a style reminiscent of Italy in the 20th Century.
All feature one or two stand-out pieces: it might be the Ico Parisi table and chairs, the Gio Ponti drinks trolley, the lamps by duo Afra&Tobia Scarpa or the simple closet in parchment by Guglielmo Ulrich. In the regular suites, the highlight is certainly the sleeping area, which features an intimate space with beautiful vanity tables by Cavatora, Parisi and Ponti and settees in coloured velvet. Look out for the rationalist closets in bottle green by Ico Parisi, the simple beds and nightstands by Silvio Cavatorta and the 1930s-style beds by Guglielmo Ulrich.

Last but not least, the great Federico Fellini would surely love the arty spirit that breezes through the whole building: from the pastel wall drawings by Marino Melarangelo on the stairs to the many contemporary works scattered around the rooms and even the 24-hour performance devised by Guendalina Salini and Silvia Litardi to inaugurate the building.

 

Owners: Amor s.r.l.
Management: PG Management
Interior suppliers: Leftover, Smeg, Seletti, Gessi, Limonta Society,
Design team: architecture, Giorgia Cerulli; interior design, Benedetta Salini and Vittorio Mango; art, Guendalina Salini. 
Photo credits: Serena Eller

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