Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel founded Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Partners in 1999, and since then the company has been operating at an international level developing complex long-term projects, including urban plans, residential and commercial complexes, industrial establishments, conservative restructuring of public buildings and planning of spaces for work, offices, showrooms and hotels. The practice is also active in the sector of corporate communication and implements projects for temporary events and exhibitions.
You said you took inspiration for the design of W St Petersburg from the city itself. What specifically about the city inspired you?
Our project took inspiration from the local environment, its spirit and architecture.
You have said that ‘working in St Petersburg is the dream of every architect’. What sets it apart from other major cities for them?
St Petersburg is a fantastic city – the dream indeed. It has been newly built with a clear brief of the 18th-century idea of it being the capital of the largest country in the world. Everything is monumental, space is the concept, the colours are amazing, the nature, the light and panoramas are unique.
What is the most important thing to consider when you are designing a hotel?
Comfort is what everyone wishes to experience in a luxury hotel. Comfort is the basis of a correct project. There is no luxury without comfort. Comfort drives all our projects. Comfort is not only a physical sensation but also an atmosphere; this is what we always want to create, a perfect atmosphere for each moment of the day. Comfort means correct lighting, beautiful colours, proper proportions, a sensation of being in the right place, the desire of staying there.
What is your favourite thing about the hotel?
I love the natural light that grazes the building facade for many hours each day, especially the light in the morning and the evening. Grazing light enhances textures and details, revealing unexpected atmospheres.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not designing hotels?
I enjoy lecturing at the Accademia di Architettura dell’Universitá della Svizzera Italiana.