Our leitmotif is “un po dipiù”
Giardino has always been different from other luxury hotels in Switzerland. Giardino Hotels amaze with their very own interpretation of luxury. They break with dusty standards, try out new things and have fresh ideas. Giardino is pleasantly unusual. This creates a unique and relaxed atmosphere. For a feeling like at home. Over the winter of 2020/21, numerous changes were therefore made in the form of a redesign at Hotel Giardino Ascona. The garden and pool area with terrace, the bar and the winter garden, right up to the lobby were given a complete makeover. Daniela and Philippe Frutiger were supported by the artist and designer Daniel Pouzet. In the interview, they talk about how the ideas for the renovation came about and why they commissioned Daniel with this special task.
How did the basic idea for the renovation originate and what was your main wish for the changes?
Daniela: The Hotel Giardino has been in existence since 1986, and we always strive to keep the hotel up to date and to meet the demands of our guests. That is why we renovate and rebuild regularly, always with a view to optimising operations. This time it is the entire reception, the lobby, the bar, the pool and the entire terrace areas. We always follow our leitmotif “un po dipiù”! We want to make the Giardino world blossom anew and were therefore looking for an artist who has the feeling for it.
Philippe: We had also realised for some time that the location of the bar was not ideal and wanted to combine the indoor bar and the pool bar. It was a longer process until we knew exactly where we wanted to put which areas. In addition, there were a few technical hurdles with the outdoor kitchen planning that had to be solved.
How did the contact and the project with Daniel Pouzet come about – did you already know each other before?
Daniela: We met Daniel Pouzet through our friend Robert “Bobby” Dekeyser, the founder of the Dedon furniture line. Daniel had previously worked with Philippe Starck in Paris and designed some furniture for Dedon, such as the famous “Nestrest”. We were allowed to get to know various projects of his – on Ibiza, in Kenya or Dedon Island, today’s Nay Palad on Siragao (Philippines).
Philippe: That’s when we really got to know and appreciate Daniel Pouzet. After all, we were involved in the construction of the Nay Palad resort. His playful way of dealing with design and materials simply inspired us.
Why did you decide on his designs and the planning with him, what was the decisive factor?
Daniela: Daniel is a true artist, he draws, paints and “bubbles over” with ideas. He really lives with and for his projects. His designs are very flowery, playful and very cozy, exactly what the Giardino world is all about.
Philippe: Giardino is an innovative company. We always knew that as soon as we had a bigger project in mind, we would do it with Daniel. Daniel knows and shares the brand values of Giardino and has integrated them excellently.
Did you have concrete ideas about the new design and structure, or did Daniel have a freedom during the conversion?
Daniela: We too are constantly “bubbling over” with ideas and improvements, but sometimes you need new input or confirmation from outside. We shared our vision with Daniel, invited him to Ascona and finalised with him what we had started.
Philippe: We had clear ideas of the structure. Daniel complemented our ideas with his artistic approach, we in turn took care of the thousand details that such a project entails. In the end, a symbiosis of many ideas emerges, this is what our hotels special…the architect is also always part of the “team” Daniela and Philippe.
What area of the hotel are you particularly happy about, what do you like best?
Both: We like everything. And if we don’t, we try to change it!
Will there be more joint projects with Daniel in the other Giardino Hotels?
Daniela: Definitely, we are in constant contact and often meet in Ibiza.
Philippe: We have a deep friendship with Daniel. During the planning and implementation, we also realised that we share the same values and ideas – we certainly don’t rule out further collaboration and hope Daniel sees it the same way.
Further insights into the conversion and an interview with Daniel Pouzet:
About Daniel Pouzet
Since founding his studio “Atelier Pouzet”, Daniel Pouzet has sought cultural diversity in all artistic fields – between design, architecture, interior design and artistic installations. His projects are spread all over the world between Asia, Africa, Europe, the United States and Latin America. They represent a search for contextual responses with soul, artistic sensitivity and a dialogue between the local and creativity that transcends conventional boundaries. The result can be seen: Surprise, lightness and quality of living spaces.