A Contemporary Cavern

Architects Marina and Alfredo Manca design a riveting cave-inspired interiors for a hotel situated in a heritage site in Matera, Italy

marina e alfredo manca

Italian Architects Marina and Alfredo Manca have unearthed an interesting piece of history and paid tribute to centuries-old dwelling by designing grotto-inspired interiors for the La Dimora di Metello Hotel in Matera, Italy.

Manca Studio aims at juxtaposing the tradition within the context and creating a dialogue that defines the place with its new, rigorous and elegant beauty. Skilled and experienced workers are engaged in the recovery of cave-dwellings and have managed to revive the 300 sq m space and demarcated it into public areas such as reception hall, spa, four suites which have access to the terrace. The grotto-type guestrooms, having up to 450 cm high ceilings, are characterised by partly tuff and partly plastered perimeter walls.

La Dimora di Metello / Manca Architetti / photo: © Pierangelo Laterza

Rustic influences

The design stems from the history of the town and draws reference from the geological and climatic context. The minimal furniture within the space acquires a neutral and linear language. The balance between lightness and modernity is the result of a precise approach to the care of the details which leads to a new language, a new aesthetic that, on tiptoe, is linked inextricably to the tradition.

La Dimora di Metello / Manca Architetti / photo: © Pierangelo Laterza

All spaces, both internal and external, have been restored and designed to accommodate all the new features of the hotel, with harmony and comfort. The predominant colour of the tuff is flanked by the tones of wooden furniture, made in light oak, and to the neutral tones of the fabrics. Some furniture, made of Corten Steel, lend a pale rustic orange tinge to the décor.

La Dimora di Metello / Manca Architetti / photo: © Pierangelo Laterza

“We believe that in a full panorama of hotel such as Matera, like in any other tourist place, the biggest challenge is to be able to design places intimately linked to the traditional and cultural values of the place. We aim to provide all guests a real and unique experience. This experience has to leave its mark and fascinate, intrigue tourists to learn more about the place they have visited and inspire them to, one day, return,” says Marina and Alfredo Manca.

La Dimora di Metello / Manca Architetti / photo: © Pierangelo Laterza

La Dimora di Metello Hotel is indeed a hospitable place that offers a perfect synthesis of contemporary needs and echoes of a distant world whose historical pre-existence makes you rediscover the coeval concept of living.

La Dimora di Metello / Manca Architetti / photo: © Pierangelo Laterza

photo: © Pierangelo Laterza


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  1. Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I implement a portion of your post to my blog?

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