Photo credit: Salva Lopez
El Equipo Creativo has recently completed the interior design of El Palau Fugit. The studio converted a disused 18th-century palace into a destination hotel as charming as Girona itself. Girona offers an exciting mixture of gastronomy, culture, and natural beauty as well as a historic overview of well-preserved buildings. Gateway to the Costa Brava, and capital city of Catalunya’s famous Empordá region, Girona is fast becoming a popular base for international hiking and cycling enthusiasts.
El Equipo Creativo used the ‘two Gironas’ as their creative starting point. The first is the Barri Vell. It is an emblematic district of weathered stone facades, hidden cul-de-sacs, porticoes, and stone ramparts. In contrast, the designers have highlighted the lighter side of the city – namely the colors that bathe the townhouses flanking the river Onyar, along with Girona’s most famous spring celebration – El Temps de Flors (The Time of Flowers). These influences, enhanced with striking modern art and crafted objects, create a hotel that begs to be discovered and enjoyed.
We aimed to create a sense of high luxury minus the pretensions. We respected the original architecture, of course, but with fresh, elegant, surprising and, at times, a little disruptive elements.El Equipo Creativo
Palau Fugit has two main parts which are both adapted to the needs of contemporary travelers and experience lovers by the Barcelona-based architecture studio Isern Associats. The first part is the original palauet. There, a courtyard, renamed ‘La Placeta’ consists of the reception area, restaurant, cocktail bar, and spa-for-one. Guests have the opportunity to go to the different rooms through the original staircase of the palace.
The second building is called Pavelló. It is an annex taking shape with a modern, rational approach. Both volumes are connected by a terrace or the ‘heart’ of the hotel. Endowed with a small swimming pool, abundant ferns, and a poetic central sculpture by famous local artist Frederic Amat. This location provides a serene oasis for guests and a natural connection between the two edifices.
The team of El Equipo Creativo reimagined the rooms in El Palauet through a prism of contemporary art and design. The goal of Daniel Trujillo and Ricard Fabregat was to instill a ‘feminine’ presence throughout, recreating the warm and eclectic ambiance of a noble family home. Careful attention to detail and a selection of fabrics and textures create a rich visual experience, enhanced by a curation of original local artists’ work.
Each suite presents a design story accompanied by gothic arches and porticoes which is a dominant architectural motif in Girona’s Barri Vell. Curvaceous chaise longues, bespoke rattan bed heads, and avant-garde lighting enfold the guest. Surfaces and textiles, from velvet drapes to strategically placed mirrors, invite the user to linger and relax in this historic setting.
Public and social spaces
Casa Heras, the hotel’s restaurant, is inspired by the social and hospitality areas of the original palace. They are also adapted to modern lifestyles and comfort. Modern art and objects elevate the spaces similarly to the rest of the hotel.
Sparkling copper pots and pans placed on an antique dresser fill the dining room, while high-quality tables, chairs, and fittings denote a timeless modern feel. Adjacent to this, El Salon provides a space for cocktails and intimate conversation, surrounded by vestiges of the palau’s ancient walls. La Biblioteca (library) is a distinguished space conceived for private banquets and meetings around a beautiful oval marble table.
The designers intended the courtyard to be more disruptive and the idea of reintroducing the palace to the social life of the city was of utmost importance to the project. The yard presents a place to meet and chatter around zesty-colored armchairs and tables full of personality.
Adjacent to the courtyard is the reception room, where guests check in at a Yves Klein bleu reception table, overhung by a blossoming golden chandelier. This composition sets the tone for the rest of the hotel, namely to balance history and modernity.