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A time & a place

by PHOEBE LIU on Sep 15, 2011 in Architecture , Interiors , Lifestyle
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The Insólito sits comfortably in the sleepy seaside town of Buzios, which at its heart is still the tiny fishing village that Brigitte Bardot fell in love with in the 1960s

Just a two hour drive from the bright lights of Rio de Janeiro, an oasis of calm awaits guests at the Insólito Boutique Hotel, nestled in a rocky hillside and blending into its natural surroundings, thanks to the skills of architect Otavio Raja Gabaglia.

Earlier this year, Insólito – a member of Design Hotels – launched a new restaurant, nine new guest rooms reflecting Brazilian Modernism and a Parilla, an open barbeque kitchen on the beachfront. As with the rest of the hotel, all the additions aim to enable guests to discover the Brazilian culture and way of life. In fact, the 20 themed guest rooms – celebrating anything from Cultura Negra or South American photography to Brazilian modern art – are based around the country’s history and culture.

Full of arts and crafts from Brazilian legends, local artisans and socially responsible companies, the guest rooms reflect the style of the Insólito’s owner, French-born Emmanuelle de Clermont Tonnerre, who chosen and curated each room’s unique theme. In fact, Insólito was once her own beachfront home, yet in its conversion has retained the personal, relaxed atmosphere of a private home.

Tonnerre came to Brazil in 2004 with her husband Philippe Meeus, a Belgian entrepreneur. The beautiful setting of their new beachfront home inspired her to change career paths from being a practicing lawyer to a host, and she set about converting their house into a hotel.

Gabaglia was tasked by Tonnerre to oversee the transformation and his combination of wooden beams, terracotta roof tiles, and glass with a restricted height of two storeys means the hotel integrates itself perfectly with its surroundings – in fact, Gabaglia’s two-storey designs have now become local architectural law. Typical Brazilian materials, such as wood and Portuguese stone, are given preference at Insólito, together with the local native flora. 

 Read the full story in the October 2011 issue of Perspective magazine! 

 

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