domenico fiore: basiliani hotel in the rock dwellings of italy
domenico fiore: basiliani hotel in the rock dwellings of italy domenico fiore: basiliani hotel in the rock dwellings of italy
apr 16, 2013

domenico fiore: basiliani hotel in the rock dwellings of italy

‘basiliani hotel’ by domenico fiore, matera, italyimage © piermario ruggeri




in the world heritage site of sassi di matera (stones of matera) of southern italy, prehistoric homes are carved into the stone escarpment where a curiousblend of stunning views of the gravina canyon district and archaeological park, and structures erected from the earth define a unique historical landscape. italian architect domenico fiore has recently completed the ‘basiliani hotel‘ which occupies a renovated chain of houses half carved out of the ground andhalf built upon with local tufo stone. the hotel covers a total of three interspersed levels that respect the original grade changes of the site, with a restoredexterior that allows multiple points of access through the original doors and small courtyards spread throughout the complex. from the exterior,the project’s scope is invisible to naked eye, situated discretely within twelve indigenous dwellings.


the interior exhibits a more involved strategy between old and new. the stone masonry walls and barrel vaulted ceilings are covered in a layer of whitepaint that protects the aging construction and reflects plenty of natural light into the cavernous spaces without concealing the treasured forms and textures.a simple recyclable material palette makes up the remainder of the interventions: wood, steel and glass rendered in basic colors.  thin timber stairs with metal handrails connect loft spaces without a heavy physical or visual imposition into the space. the organic crumbling floor is covered at times with dark smooth tiles creating a pleasant contrast, and at others simply covered with a structural glass floor that allows the user to float above the original bell-shaped water cisterns dug into the ground. black, white, and red fixtures create an interior unity between the cafe and rooms and stand clearly separate from the existing constructions.



panoramic view of the city center and the canyon siteimage © piermario ruggeri



one of the many entrances into the hotel through an original rock courtyardimage © piermario ruggeri



image © piermario ruggeri



reception desk with glass floor exposing the original ground planeimage © piermario ruggeri



cafeimage © piermario ruggeri



(left) original arches and wall nooks kept intact(right) glass floor exposes the original stone groundimage © piermario ruggeri



image © piermario ruggeri


simple materials create a strong interior presence without detracting from the historical constructionimage © piermario ruggeri



image © piermario ruggeri



loft spaceimage © piermario ruggeri



image © piermario ruggeri



bedroom partially lit by artificial lightimage © piermario ruggeri



image © piermario ruggeri



illuminated at nightimage © piermario ruggeri



entrance to individual rooms from the stone streetimage © piermario ruggeri



  • Not your average Motel 6. I would expect this to be very popular. Bravo.


    jimCan says:
  • I love the location and how the renovation is done, but the decoration is very poorly executed. Maybe it´s a matter of taste, but it´s defenitely not mine.

    Mario says:
  • Very nice … what a beautiful place and bravo for not spoiling it, and ensuring that it will have longevity.
    Here in australia, not that we have that history, but what we do have they seem intent on destroying.

    pete says:
  • The furniture definitively wasn’t a wise choice… otherwise it is lovely, congrats!

    Leeya says:
  • Trés beau concept dommage que le choix du mobilier soit si ordinaire alors qu’il existe des pieces d’exception dans le design contemporain qui auraient pu mettre en scéne ce site extraordinaire, je pense à des créateurs comme:Eames, Panton, Jacobsen, Mac Intosh, Talon ,Saarinen… tant d’autres

    RETSIN Marc says:

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