Mariano Mulazzani: Palás Cerequio upgrade 2023

Mariano Mulazzani: Palás Cerequio upgrade 2023

The designer who led the restoration of Palás Cerequio talks about his experience and upcoming projects: past and future come together in a spectacle of light and shades. 

Designer, scenographer and light designer. Born in 1964 in Rimini, Mariano Mulazzani is a “spatial artist” who specializes in creating harmonious compositions of elements that are present within his workspace. His variegated and dynamic personality led him to work in designing residential and commercial buildings, as well as tourist accommodations. But also to specialize in industrial design, lighting and in the setting up of large exhibition stands and international events.

For Michele Chiarlo, Mulazzani worked on the architectural restoration of Palás Cerequio, the «temple of Barolo»: a charming resort nestled in one of the most spectacular vineyards of the «King of wine». The restoration of the small, ancient eighteenth-century village is an exemplary evidence of his work: past and present coexist in dialectical and harmonious forms, perfectly fitting into the surrounding landscape.

Today, the designer from Rimini must face a new challenge: expand Palás Cerequio’s restaurant area by creating a bistro connected to a terrace and, at the same time, developing spaces for two new suites and a spa.

Mariano Mulazzani, what does “being a designer” mean to you?

It means having an unconventional approach to the spaces I work on and having a mindset that contemplates different disciplines. My training includes industrial design, architectural design, light design as well as setting exhibitions. I see space not only in architectural terms but also in a scenic way: each element interacts with the others to create an integral and pleasing aesthetic dimension.

You define yourself as a «designer of shadows».

I use light as a building block, a material that can shape its surroundings. When I worked for Viabizzuno (one of the most innovative lighting design companies in Italy, ed.) I was in the Upo «Ufficio Progettazione Ombre» (Shadow Design Office, ed.). Shadow is the plastic form of light and it reveals how light shapes its environment.

How was your experience at Palás Cerequio?

In a way, the venture at Palás allowed me to apply all my knowledge and skills in a single architectural project, while still fully complying with the requests of the client. The main and most ancient part of the structure has been recovered according to a Piedmontese-Baroque style. The most recent area, which we recovered from the barn, allowed us to be more experimental. In agreement with Michele Chiarlo, Palás has become a place where past and future meet and interact with each other to find perfect balance.

How is the building’s connection to the vineyard landscape of Cerequio?

Right from the first inspection, I understood the fundamental role that the vineyards would play in the project. I felt that I was in a very important location within the territory and that all eyes would be on us. This led me to move with utmost respect for the existing constructions, maintaining the original size of the structures. Large open spaces and glass windows created openings towards the landscape, allowing the vineyards to “penetrate” inside the building. We have also given great importance to the materials that were recovered from the original ones: wood, glass and iron. Even the mortars used on the facades were left “bare” and were not painted to respect their original color.

Is there a new area under construction at Palás?

Together with Chiarlo, we want to build a new area that develops on several levels to enhance accommodation, catering and wellness services. The pool area will be expanded and include two new floors. The first one, partially located underground, will be dedicated to service rooms and – in the near future – will host a new spa. The second floor will have two new suites that look towards the valley. These will be two large, intimate and cozy rooms that offer vast spaces and a spectacular view of the vineyards. The same marvelous panorama can also be admired from the new dining area: a bistro expanding for approximately 50 sqm and equipped with a kitchen. From the bistro, guests can go down to the spa or go up to the new terrace that has a bar and an outdoor area: this will be an exclusive space where the vineyards and the skies meet, offering a truly impressive spectacle.