HISTORY The fascinating history of the Ausonia Hungaria Palace has always been intertwined with the island that hosts it, a beloved destination for many travelers and famous personalities. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Lido experienced an incredible development: thanks to the new fashion of sea bathing, this almost unknown lagoon became extremely important, with a never seen before tourist flow that enabled the construction of facilities, the creation of new connections within the island and by sea and new buildings, including the first hotels. During this amazing period of growth and development, the groundwork of the famous hotel Ausonia Hungaria was laid: in 1907, the new hotel designed by Nicolò Piemonte in a perfect neo-Renaissance style opened its doors. The desire to be an iconic and distinctive element in the Lido characterises this building since 1913, when the ceramist Luigi Fabris created the particular covering of the main façade with majolica tiles, giving the island a unique building in an exemplary Liberty style. Ocher and water green plant motifs, fruits and garlands of flowers, cherubs and female figures representing Venice and Hungary come together to give life to the wonderful combination of shapes and colours that we can still admire today, in a complex balance between innovation and experimentation. The idea of a whole work immediately coordinated the construction of the entire structure, becoming visible in the composition of the spaces, through the decorative elements and in the choice of the furnishings created by the illustrious cabinetmaker Eugenio Quarti. With the outbreak of war and the economic crisis in the first half of the 19th century, the Lido and all its most important structures suddenly lost their role of tourist, sports and cultural centre. PROPERTY AND REGENERATION The history of the palace shows how the destiny of Ausonia Hungaria has always been closely intertwined with the history of the Lido and its transformations: in recent times the strong renewal experienced by this magical territory, that enabled the rebirth of the Lido as a beloved tourist destination, has brought the need to restore its natural and artistic beauties. Today, thanks to quality tourism and a lively cultural life and also due to the international resonance of the Film Festival, the Lido has again become a universe that fascinates and enchants its visitors, a world of its own next to the city of Venice. The rebirth of the Lido’s unique identity has enabled Ausonia Hungaria hotel to discover its ancient splendour again. Following several ownerships and various attempts of restructuring the building, in February 2007 the hotel was acquired by Teodoro Russo, its current owner and the client of the huge restoration that involved this prestigious building. Taking on the full economic commitment and closely collaborating with the superintendence of the Architectural Heritage of Venice, in a relationship of synergy and continuous comparison, Teodoro Russo's project consisted in a meticulous program of protection, regeneration and functional renewal of the interior and exterior of the building. The restoration of the 7,000 polychrome tiles adorning the main façade, carried out in only 4 months, involved the usage of expert recovery techniques and the total dedication to the work. The significant investment in the project that allowed the restoration of the extraordinary polychrome façade and the exceptional final result symbolises the commitment and passion for the preservation and relaunching of the entire Lido. Through a concrete and precious contribution, the hotel property enabled the preservation of a wonderful piece of history of the territory and at the same time it gave the building new life, blending memory with innovation. Teodoro Russo’s desire to continue the hotel’s restoration following the consultancy of the Architect Ugo Fattore fostered between 2018 and 2019 the decision to complete the restoration started in 2007 and to invest resources and energy in the improvement of the building. This brought Ausonia Hungaria to become the most surprising 5 * L hotel in Venice. The whole photoshoot is available Art project, east facade: Joe Tilson, Royal Academy The desire to rediscover the sumptuous prestige of Ausonia Hungaria has led the property to carry out an extraordinary intervention: in a conscious mix of past and present time, the coating of the east facade that didn’t have any decoration, has been entrusted to the eclectic British pop artist Joe Tilson, through the application of polychrome panels in Murano glass. Already in 2015, on the occasion of the Biennale, Ausonia Hungaria had hosted a particular videomapping installation to show the decorative project that would have been carried out on the façade in the following years. In 2018, with the coordination of the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage and Landscape and of the Arch. Claudio Rebeschini, R&D Engineering of Padua, the ambitious proposal finally comes to life and Joe Tilson, together with his artistic director Enzo Di Martino, created the largest Murano glass art installation in Europe, with over 400 square meters of surface. The ancient ceramic tiles are echoed in the new glass tiles, in an intense and fascinating dialogue, in which the past blends with the visions of the present and the future, giving life to a multi-faceted work that can be admired with ecstatic astonishment. Interior & lighting design: Simone Micheli Architect "Going beyond the habitual space-time conception, my design work is directed towards the reinterpretation of history and its structure. This process is expressed through the demolition of the concept of limit and boundary and it creates a completely different atmosphere, different from everyday life, that blends the inside with the outside, the past with the present time, drawing one’s attention to what hasn’t happened yet.” Simone Micheli The idea of "Gesamtkunstwerk" in the writings and the works of Richard Wagner - German composer, theatre director, conductor and writer - takes life again in the work of the architect Simone Micheli who has masterfully directed the interior and the lighting design of Ausonia Hungaria, an exclusive and prestigious hotel that welcomes its guests in an atmosphere of timeless charm. The Grand hotel was designed by the engineer Nicolò Piamonte in neo-Renaissance style, the furnishing was created by the great cabinetmaker Eugenio Quarta, while the ceramist Luigi Fabris (1913), perfectly following the Art Nouveau style, took care of the many decorative elements, including the famous facade in polychrome majolica. Therefore, due to its original essence, the structure springs from the experimentation that interested the world of art and architecture at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, when art had to abandon its role, lose its aura, and discover itself again in the reality of life, giving rise to the great changes in contemporary society such as cinema and design. The same desire to innovate and to create new visions, inspired by the concept of an organic work, gave life to the intervention of the architect Simone Micheli that was aimed at transforming the interior spaces of the hotel into a true work of art to be experienced, in which man becomes the nerve center. The hotel rooms are characterized by franciscan furniture with linear and fluid forms, composed of different but complementary materials; the soft colours are enlivened by touches of vivacity, while the extraordinary plays of light, dictated by a very careful lighting direction, contribute to the definition of spaces, environments and functions. As soon as the entrance is crossed, the visitor feels welcomed in another environment that is precious, fascinating, and created to satisfy his desire for well-being. On the walls of the rooms, iconic pictures by Maurizio Marcato are a reinterpretation of the exterior facade, emphasizing the details and highlighting its peculiarities. The photography is able to generate a complete and perfectly integrated fusion of interior and exterior spaces, blending the vitality and energy of what is outside with the magical atmosphere of the inside, erasing differences and encouraging combinations and encounters. The bathroom represents a break, a pause, an arrival point where one’s attention can be focused on well-being without being misled by the outside world. It is meant to rebuild one’s own fragile self, often fragmented due to the frenzy of the daily routine. The grey ceramic material dominates the space while the white furnishings are attractive centres, catalysts of emotions. There is no real physical separation between the bathroom and the other rooms; it is the ethereal structure generated by shapes and colours that determines this space, a closed environment in which man can take shelter and enjoy his own time. The leitmotif appears in the entire structure and even the corridor mirrors this intense tension between opposite forces: the city on the outside and the world inside, past and future, fullness and emptiness. Moreover, a wise lighting design direction enables the guest to feel as if suspended in a dimension in which the traditional space-time coordinates are lost. While the furnishings have a futuristic look and their forms convey calmness to the soul making it feel welcome, along the walls the images of the faces and places that have made the history of cinema follow one another, recalling the great importance of this place. Pictures of the Lido area compose the pavement giving the guest the feeling of walking along the roofs of the city, exploring its hidden corners. In the common areas historical heritage and avant-garde design do not cease to merge, blending history with new enveloping shapes, clean spaces, and refined details. The large hall welcomes guests offering privacy despite the passage area, while the faces of men and women enliven the office rooms. The bar, the restaurant, the glass room and the roof-bar are places where thought can relax, the mind can be open and nourish well-being, fun, and pleasure of the senses; a mystical and unique atmosphere that is able to place man at the center of space is eventually originated. On the top floor, on a wooden terrace, the guest can feel free and experience a wonderful view of Venice. An hotel-opera that encourages reflection on the contemporary art scene takes shape, it is an urban masterpiece of art and architecture that promotes experimentation and progress. A courageous choice of the owners enabled the transformation of Austonia Hungaria into the new and main tourist attraction on the Lido. The structure is not only evolved and cleverly thought, but it also becomes a symbol and a stimulus for the redevelopment of other accommodation facilities. SIMONE MICHELI ARCHITECT BIOGRAPHY www.simonemicheli.com Simone Micheli founded the Architecture Studio in 1990 and in 2003, together with Roberta Colla, he created the design company Simone Micheli Architectural Hero, based in Florence, Milan, Puntaldìa, Dubai, Rabat and Busan. His professional activity ranges from architecture to interior, from design to visual, through graphics, communication and event organization; his creations, always sustainable and environmentally conscious, are characterized by a strong identity and uniqueness. Many are his creations for public administrations and important private clients connected to the community and to the residential world. He is the curator of thematic exhibitions - contract, but not only - at the main international architecture, design and hospitality fairs. He is professor at the Poli.Design and at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan. In collaboration with Roberta Colla and his team of professionals, he holds conferences, workshops and lectures at universities, cultural institutes and institutions in many cities around the world. His works have been featured in the most important international exhibitions as well as in Italian and international newspapers, magazines and periodicals.