From a 1930s Bauhaus-inspired building to an 18th-century water pumping station, Danish home furnishings brand Vipp has a knack for transforming historic spaces into contemporary, one-of-a-kind getaways. The company made its first foray into the hospitality industry in 2015 with the Vipp Shelter, a 55-square-metre steel pod dropped into a Swedish forest, and has quickly developed a roster of unconventional boutique hotels across Europe — all of which are kitted out with the brand’s products. Its latest venture is the Vipp Palazzo Monti, a pop-up hotel in Brescia, Italy by Danish interior designer Julie Cloos Mølsgaard. Set to open on April 18, in line with Salone del Mobile, the single-room retreat will welcome guests for one month.
The 13th-century Palazzo Monti is replete with picturesque pastel frescoes that date to 1750, so it is only apt that the space currently serves as a cultural centre. Complete with an artists’ residency program, exhibition space and its own private collection, the creative hub was the perfect canvas for Mølsgaard to build upon.
Visitors are ushered inside via the front gates, up the fresco-framed grand staircase to the Vipp guesthouse on the first floor. A pared-back desk vignette at the top of the stairs teases the project’s design ethos: Baroque maximalism meets Scandinavian minimalism.
The private haven consists of three consecutive rooms: a hallway, a salon and a bedroom with an ensuite. Throughout, Vipp’s clean-lined furnishings offer a counterpoint to the richly ornamented interior. Mølsgaard’s deference to the historic architecture was strategic, in order to realize the hotel as a “liveable installation.”
Past the upper level’s original wooden doors, the hallway features a handsome black leather daybed, behind which paintings are haphazardly leaned against the wall. The bedroom evokes this same lived-in feeling, eschewing a traditional bed frame for a mattress that sits directly on the terracotta-toned floor. The salon, meanwhile, boasts two plush sofas upholstered in a cozy cream boucle, complemented by an eclectic assortment of accessories.
In the downstairs kitchen and dining area, Vipp’s matte black modular V1 island stands in stark contrast to a vibrant red and white tapestry, injecting an industrial aesthetic into the historic space. Mølsgaard incorporated the locally crafted jade tile floor as a nod to the region’s prevailing interior trends in the 1600s.
Sitting around the dining table are Vipp swivel chairs, custom-upholstered with an animal print-inspired fabric Mølsgaard sourced from a local manufacturer. In this communal space, guests can chat with the three artists in residence over espresso (or explore their workshops on the palazzo’s top floor, overlooking the historic neighbourhood’s charming streets).
As the hotel industry struggles for relevancy in the age of Airbnb, many hospitality companies are searching for ways to turn their brand into a novel experience. But despite being a relative newcomer on the scene, Vipp Palazzo Monti is already ahead of the curve. After all, where else can you spend the night in an honorary art gallery, and wake up under a three-metre-high fresco-adorned ceiling?
Just in time for Salone del Mobile, Danish brand Vipp’s latest hospitality venture is slated to open on April 18.