Ravello, Italy – Set in a 12th-century villa originally built for a noble family, Palazzo Avino is a majestic five-star hotel atop a cliff overlooking Italy’s hypnotically blue Amalfi Coast, in Ravello. The latest addition to the hotel’s countless line-up of luxe amenities – including a Michelin-starred restaurant and limousine and helicopter services, for example – is a boutique designed by Italian designer-architect Cristina Celestino. The Pink Closet, as it’s called, was built as a spatial dialogue between the villa and its marine surroundings.
The location is a few metres from the hotel entrance, with street access that blends the world of interior and cobblestoned exterior into one. Palazzo Avino’s managing director, Mariella Avino, desired an ‘intimate and feminine place’ with a ‘delicate atmosphere.’ Celestino delivered, making that vision feel a part of the local environment rather than an overly-branded, commercialised extension of the hotel.
Celestino imagined the womenswear shop as a ‘contemporary grotto.’ Past the glass doorway, shades of aquamarine blend into a dusty, Aegean pink. The space is highly textural: the walls are covered with interlocking enamelled ceramic shells, and the floors, inspired by the layered seabed, are inlaid with polychromatic marble. Each surface, finish and furnishing was selected to reference local architectonic elements. One can’t help but think of the The Little Mermaid – Avino refers the space as ‘a room of wonders’ – noticing the small details, such as micro-mosaic framing and a richly-decorated carpet.
‘The Pink Closet comes into being as a small piece of architecture, which encloses and harmonises different colours, materials and textures so that visitors, from the moment they cross the threshold, can enjoy an immersive visual and tactile experience,’ explained Celestino of her work.