Known as the “small Athens,” the quaint Tuscan village of Pietrasanta is a town dedicated to art. It’s located close to many quarries, and sculptures have called it home for centuries. Here, French architecture studio Point3architecture, led by Benjamin Macaire, Thibaut Julien and Victor Jauvin, was tasked with reimagining Paradis Pietrasanta–a chic boutique hotel. The traditional Tuscan-style palazzo was once home to a countess, but the building was in disrepair and needed updating. Point3architecture worked almost exclusively with natural materials—marble, terracotta, ceramic and wrought iron—to beautifully blend into the surroundings, conveying the feeling that the hotel has always been a part of Pietrasanta. They also collaborated with Moroccan artist Khalil Minka, who designed the wall tapestries in the rooms and the lobby. The property is modern, yet nostalgic. Each space feels like an artist’s private home, inviting you to stay awhile.
Over email, Julien told us more.
How did you first discover the property? What condition was it in at the start?
When we discovered the building it hadn’t been inhabited for a long time. The historic rampart had been tiled over the years, and the brick ceilings and walls could be seen under the layers of paint. A lot of cleaning work was carried out to make the vernacular materials visible again.
Did the hotel owners have any specific requirements or aesthetic vision for the space?
The owners wanted to create a simple and authentic place, which would give the feeling of a family home that has always been here. They also wanted that the inhabitants of Pietrasanta feel as comfortable as foreign travellers to come to this place.
How do you describe the style?
The style of the hotel is eclectic and results from a dialogue between traditional Tuscan materials and a selection of vintage Milanese 1970s-inspired furniture and lighting combined with contemporary touches.
You chose to work with natural materials and an earthy color palette. We’d love to know more about these choices and if there are any special details you’re particularly fond of.
We worked almost exclusively with local materials and artisans, which we have reflected through soft colors to bring warmth and comfort to the different spaces. We put care into the lighting design, which we believe is an essential element in the design of a space.
What do you love most about the hotel?
The plaster library in the restaurant, which evokes the studio of a sculptor such as the ones that were once in Pietrasanta.