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Architecture / design

Parco dei Principi

James Andrew at Parco dei Principi

James Andrew at Parco dei Principi

Since its inception in 1962 the Parco dei Principi has been providing guests with a truly unique architecture-as-art experience. Set on the grounds of an eighteenth century property that has been owned by the Bourbon Royal family as well as a cousin to the Russian Tsars, it’s no wonder the Parco commands such a spectacular position high above the azure ocean below. Furthermore, it is a testament to Ponti’s sensitivity to place and history that he has retained so many architectural and landscape elements from this royal legacy – In Ponti’s words “.. for life to be great and full we have to combine the past with the future..”

Parco dei Principi

Parco dei Principi

Parco dei Principi

Parco dei Principi

The Parco is a symphony of blue and white – everywhere one looks Ponti references the sky and sea. Working with the tile company D’Agostino of Salerno, Ponti produced thirty different designs that could be utilized in a multitude of combinations to create both a cohesive overall palette while lending each of the hundred rooms their own uniquely patterned floor.

Parco dei Principi

Parco dei Principi

In the dining room and lounge Ponti worked with celebrated ceramicist Fausto Melotti to create modernist majolica style tiles to adorn the walls – another expression of Ponti’s willingness to blur the lines between art and architecture – and it is not surprising – after all, Ponti himself was not only one of the twentieth centurie’s most influential architects but he was also a noted poet, painter, industrial designer, and writer!

Parco dei Principi

Parco dei Principi

More on this masterpiece to come!

Parco dei Principi

Parco dei Principi

I’m pictured a top on our balcony admiring an unbelievable view of Vesuvius and I’m wearing a Tom Ford long sleeve polo shirt in royal blue toweling and leather sandals, white cotton shorts by Mario Matteo from Behavior NYC, sunglasses KVA for Oliver Peoples, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram and my fragrance is Creed Bois de Cedrat.

Sultry Sorrento

James Andrew at the Parco dei Principi Hotel

James Andrew at the Parco dei Principi Hotel

Just back from our Italian jaunt – hope you didn’t miss us too much – we missed you terribly of course! And as promised we’ve come back with some splendid pictures and thoughts that we’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks – so lets start at the beginning…

Our holiday on the Amalfi Coast begins in Sorrento, a town perched somewhat precariously yet ever so scenically on the majestic cliffs overlooking the bay of Naples. I’d been keen to explore this Gio Ponti modernist masterpiece Parco dei Principi Hotel having read a Wallpaper magazine story several years ago, and as Emerson once put it, “life consists in what a person is thinking of all day” – as you might have surmised, I’ve been thinking about this heavenly realm quite a lot!

Parco dei Principi Hotel

Parco dei Principi Hotel

What we see and read in travel articles so often does not live up to expectations – Happily I can tell you Parco dei Principi far exceeded the highest of our expectations! Surprisingly the Parco is the only existing hotel in Italy by Ponti. Totally preserved and wonderfully intact it’s set on the grounds of an old estate, and if you’re a WIJW? regular you’ll have guessed I was wild about the contrast between high modernism and the richly classical surrounds.

Amalfi Coast, Sorrento

Amalfi Coast, Sorrento

In any case, we’re still unpacking, but I couldn’t wait to give you a small taste of posts to follow on our stay at the Parco dei Principi over the next few days – stay tuned!

I’m sporting a navy cotton pique jacket by Gucci, midnight blue and white cotton plaid shirt by Tom Ford, Charvet pink and white retro print silk pocket square, Uniglo pale pink skinny jeans, sunglasses, python belt with silver buckle and brown leather sandals all by Gucci, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram my fragrance is Creed Zeste Mandarine Pamplemousse.

Dupré-Lafon

James Andrew - photo by

James Andrew - photo by Hollister Lowe

One can’t be a serious interior designer and not have a deep appreciation for the work of the legendary Paul Dupré-Lafon. Fortunately for all of us, the very talented and sophisticated Keith Adams took his appreciation a step further than most, and has produced a stunning series of exact Lafon recreations. Adams tells us that he has been enthralled with beautiful execution for as long as he can remember – certainly this is no more apparent than in his series of meticulously crafted Dupré-Lafon lamps – I’ve already placed an order for this spectacular standing lamp (above) to use in one of the luxe-modernist projects I’m working on, and I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to have Adams’ pieces for your interior as well!

From the Keith Adams atelier.

From K.A. Adams.

From the Keith Adams atelier.

From K.A. Adams.

From the Keith Adams atelier.

From K.A. Adams.

(top) I’m pictured here at Adams’ super chic atelier, sitting on a Jean Michel Frank inspired stool and Adams’ lamp, wearing a black cotton wide wale corduroy “Norfolk” style jacket, a teal silk Russian inspired print shirt, a purple silk foulard and paisley skinny scarf, black wool flannel pants all by Gucci, purple alligator belt with sterling buckle by Ralph Lauren, Lanvin teal suede sneakers and KVA sunglasses by Oliver Peoples.