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Design Destination | Vipp Palazzo Monti

  • est editor Sophie Lewis reflects on a memorable stay at Vipp’s latest hotel experience, Palazzo Monti in Brescia, Northern Italy

    Vipp Palazzo Monti opened its doors in April, coinciding with Milan Design Week and the 61st edition of Salone del Mobile. Located in Brescia, the Danish brand’s first foray into an Italian hotel experience was the perfect place to bookend a design-charged week. The exclusive one-suite hotel ran for just four weeks, allowing guests to stay in a 13th-century palazzo and wake under frescos from the 1750s. Featuring works from Palazzo Monti’s artist residency program, the suite was entirely curated with Vipp’s recognisable kitchen, furniture, lighting, and accessories range.

    Palazzo Monti is located in the historic Italian city of Brescia, just over an hour by train or car from Milan.

    Art collector and curator Edoardo Monti established foundation Palazzo Monti in 2017 as a residency program for Italian and international artists. In the years since, Palazzo Monti has hosted more than 200 artists from 50 countries, with up to three artists at a time, typically staying for a month. Each artist is asked to leave a work behind, which means Palazzo Monti is filled with works of all kinds, including painting, sculpture, and photography, in constant dialogue and contrast with the unique setting.

    Palazzo Monti was the seventh instalment in Vipp’s guesthouse portfolio; a deconstructed hotel concept that allows Vipp’s design world to be experienced first-hand in ‘one-of-a-kind’ destinations. Vipp approached Edoardo to create a ‘liveable installation’ in Palazzo Monti’s gallery space on the first floor, envisioned by Danish interior designer Julie Cloos Mølsgaard. “What was supposed to be a simple ‘dinner at the palazzo’ project turned into a wonderful photographic documentation, a pop-up hotel during Salone del Mobile and permanent fixtures that now inhabit the palazzo, such as a Vipp kitchen and Vipp bins,” Edoardo says. 

    The hotel experience ran in tandem with Palazzo Monti’s artist residency program, allowing Vipp’s range to be featured alongside an evocative art collection. The Vipp V1 kitchen island and floor-to-ceiling textile work by Bea Bonafini in Palazzo Monti’s communal space. 

    The communal area featured locally-crafted jade tiled floors reminiscent of the region’s interiors from the 1600s and Venetian frescos above.

    The moment of arrival at Palazzo Monti was accentuated by red velvet curtains – a theatrical nod – before the grand staircase and whimsical frescoes were revealed, taking you to the Vipp guesthouse on the first floor. The contemporary suite unfolded across three rooms; a hallway, living space (‘salon’) and bedroom with a walk-in robe and bathroom. Vipp furniture, lighting and accessories were thoughtfully arranged in each, including their most recognised Vipp pedal bin, layered with books, decor and art, under three-metre-high fresco ceilings. “The Danish design perfectly matches the palazzo’s ancient architecture and contemporary art,” Edoardo says. “I think there are few things in life as stunning and intimate as waking up under some 1750s frescoes,” he adds.

    Downstairs, a communal space featured the Vipp V1 kitchen island and dining area, shared by the artists in residence, Edoardo and his Saarloos Wolfdog Bea. The Vipp kitchen highlighted the dialogue between old and new atop locally-crafted jade tiled floors with Venetian frescos above.

    In addition to the modular kitchen, the communal area features the Vipp pedal bin, ceramics and Vipp desk lamp.

    Here, Edoardo extended his hospitality, sharing insight into artwork currently on display, and Brescia’s must-visits, including the UNESCO heritage sites, museums and galleries. “It was a refreshing experience. The need of overnight guests is very different from long-term artists in residency,” Edoardo says. “We always had interesting and creative guests, and it was a pleasure to take them around the city and show them all the incredible offers a city like Brescia can give,” he adds. Not an easy place to leave, Vipp Palazzo Monti was an antidote to the pace of Milan Design Week. Staged within a historic palazzo and city, the guesthouse made for an immersive creative recharge quite like no other. 

    But the success of Vipp Palazzo Monti doesn’t mark the end of Edoardo’s collaboration with the brand, hinting towards an “upcoming project that’s yet to be revealed,” he says. “All I can say is that it will see me joining the brand as curator for a really exciting project, which will see the intervention of Italian artists taking over one of their most iconic items. Stay tuned!” 

    Palazzo Monti’s historic frescoes are a dramatic backdrop to the Vipp 452 Swivel chair and table.

    “The mix of architecture, design and artist in residency experience is rather unique to this pop-up, and guests definitely love the comforts of Danish design and the regal life within an 800-year-old palazzo,” Eduardo says.

    Interior designer Julie Cloos Mølsgaard described the centuries-old suite as the confluence of Danish minimalism and Baroque maximalism. The suite features three-metre-high fresco ceilings that date back to 1750.

    Art curator and collector Edoardo Monti

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