For you to understand the history of this Hotel Les Cigale in Nice, France, you need to know that someday a native of Greece, Eirini Giannakopoulou did not plan to end up in Italy but, after earning a master’s degree in architecture, her passions for scenography and jewelry brought her to the Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin. There, she met Stefano Carera, and in 2011, they launched SCEG Architects building a portfolio of residential and commercial projects that combine their different cultures and shared expertise.
One of their projects is the boutique Hotel Les Cigales in Nice, France. The pair’s conceptual starting point draws from Giannakopoulou’s origins: “xeno-dochio”, is greek for a box that contains travelers, otherwise known as a hotel. The architects’ interpretation centers on a narrative of geometric shapes appearing throughout the 6,000-square-foot, four-story property. Boxy daybeds, round mirrors, and triangulated brass wardrobes furnish the 19 guest rooms, each one unique but all with Achille Castiglioni and Joe Colombo light fixtures. Even the throw pillows boast a grid of rectangles. Carera describes it as “an abstract painting of Nice.”
Giannakopoulou says that the hotel’s“It’s a reflection of the surroundings”.
Indeed it is, in the lobby, you can see the blues of the retro-style palm-tree wallpaper coordinate with the azure resin floor, while the travertine paneling and Patricia Urquiola upholstery infuse a beachy coral.
Elsewhere, the palette seems Memphis-inspired. One guest room pairs plum, teal, and cobalt blue. Another has a raspberry-painted bathroom. Fitting that its sconce is by Michele De Lucchi.