For award-winning architect Pau Llimona, the Mediterranean Sea has always possessed a romantic mystique. When Llimona was commissioned by Hotel Llevant, located in Llafranc on the Costa Brava, Spain, to redesign and redecorate the whole building’s interiors, he saw the perfect opportunity to incorporate the intrinsic link between the local area and the sea into his design concept.
Hotel Llevant is a Costa Bravan institution, founded in 1935 by Maria Gratacós Lluensí, the current owner’s great grandmother. She built up the property from a small guesthouse to a luxurious hotel and restaurants. While the hotel has continually evolved with changing trends and tastes, it has faithfully maintained its enchanting identity. Maintaining this balance was an essential part of Llimona’s initial brief.
A luxurious, three-story hotel with a renowned restaurant, one of the establishment’s more unusual features is that every room has its own balcony plunge pool. It was therefore an ambitious project from the start.INFLUENCE:
The Mediterranean has had a major impact on local approaches to architecture, with many buildings possessing a distinctive design, particularly on Spain’s northeast coast.
Llimona wanted to capture the atmosphere and experience of the Levantadas—waves formed by the Levant, an easterly wind which blows across the Iberian Peninsula—from the feel of sand underfoot to the sight of the cresting and crashing surf.SOLUTION:
While working with rcr Arquitectes on the interiors of Albert Adriá’s celebrated Enigma restaurant, Llimona discovered the unrivalled aesthetic potential of Neolith’s Sintered Stone.
“Working closely with Neolith on the Enigma project gave me a deep insight into the properties of the material and the huge scope of what can be achieved using the surface. From a designer’s perspective, the advantages are threefold: you can achieve decorative effects not possible on many naturally occurring stones, it’s super resistant and it’s very easy to cut to size and install,” says Llimona. “Furthermore, it is 100% natural, which particularly appealed to me when I was looking to specify materials for Hotel Llevant where I wanted to evoke the aura of a naturally occurring event,” he continues.
A major component of the overall aesthetic would be textured flooring, specified throughout the hotel. The architect wanted a surface which would recreate the roughness and shine of the seabed, ever so slightly pearlescent. When illuminated, the surface would reveal subtle flecks of blue and red, recalling the sparkling reflection of the bright sun on water. This desire led to Neolith developing a unique, custom-made color which became a major design component in the project. In order to achieve the desired surface texture, Riverwashed finish was used.null