Architect by vocation, but also continuing the almost century-long family tradition in architecture, Lorenzo Bellini graduated in Rome in 1968.
He started his professional career by riding the waves of Rome’s construction development in the seventies, leaving a particular mark with some residential building types featured by a clear and dynamic use of the ‘brutalist language’ fashionable in those days.
For Bellini, the challenge to be taken on is to update, via renewal, the heritage of Modernism’s masters; that means planning an architecture that first of all puts the man at the center of the project, focusing on the same functionalism that characterized the activity of Jo Ponti; the result cannot be other than a project with a unique identity, coherent in the method both on the macro scale of the building, and on the micro scale of the interior design as well.
The breakdown of private construction, followed by the petrol crisis of the end of the seventies, brought Lorenzo Bellini to look toward the opportunities emerging in North Africa and the Middle East. In 1984, after winning the international competition for designing the new headquarters of the Development Bank of Cameroun in Yaoundé – and its subsequent construction – Lorenzo Bellini consolidated his presence on the market, acquiring the indispensable credentials to compete with the most important international architectural firms.
The second main turning point happened in the mid nineteen-eighties when the architect became involved in various hotel projects, both in Africa and in the Caribbean. Bellini, almost with a soul motion, began to analyze the Anglo-Saxon methodology and became intrigued by a reality that, in its intrinsic functional complexity, offered the almost unique opportunity to experiment an integral and global planning, envisioning not only the structure’s shell but also what it contains, including all parts in a single process.
Free from ideological prejudices and endowed with Anglo-Saxon pragmatism, Bellini’s project planning method meets the client’s business needs, stating that any hotel – new or to be restored or expanded – is an articulate business unit which, first of all, must be functional and profitable.
In the well-known reconstruction of the Marriott Flora on Via Veneto, in Rome, Bellini successfully realized a very innovative hotel concept: a flexible open space composed by a continuum of interconnected areas where different functions converge in an everlasting environment that adapts itself to the day’s time, avoiding any dead space.
Even in the Hotel Saint George – complex renovation of the Palace of the Court commissioned by Pope Julius to Bramante and remained incomplete – we may observe a new use of the public areas, conceived as series of open spaces that merge into each other with continuity. The result is an ambient in which the various languages are perfectly combined into an eclecticism strictly controlled where the dissonances represent the irreversible link between functions and atmospheres, each one determining the other. It is the concept of the ‘harmonious dissonances’, that upon close analysis unifies all Bellini products, be they international hotels, or interior design pieces.
The indisputable characteristic of any Bellini hotel is that they have their own distinctive spirit, a sort of soul which is a sum of style, personality, atmosphere and elegance which transform a simple hotel into a point of reference in a city. A hotel, then, becomes a dynamic stage that follows the guests by offering them fantastic opportunity to be its actor/spectator thereby experiencing something unique that goes beyond a simple sojourn.
Finally, there is the huge assortment of interior design pieces designed by Lorenzo Bellini which have become part of prestigious collections produced by well-known Italian firms such as Selva, Schoenhuber Franchi, Tonon, MLE , Ceramica Cielo and others. Exciting, functional, evergreen: this is the language that distinguishes Lorenzo Bellini Design product design creations. Introducing these pieces in the Industrial Design niche would be a conceptual error since generally they are not conceived as independent lines but, thanks to the constant attention paid to detail, they are developed in synergy with new hotel projects, as every new hotel also involves the conception of new pieces of furniture created “ad hoc”. These original pieces create a bond between past and present, giving life to a distinctive sign of continuity that inexorably projects itself in the future as it is all destined to be everlasting.