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Once upon a time there was a piece of yarn…

original text (de): Barbara Jahr-Rösel // translation: Landoor

How small can a city hotel room be? noa* embarked on a fascinating experience whose results were even more interesting.

It was a particular encounter with a specific outcome. noa* was invited to Rimini trade fair to talk about design, approaches, and visions for the future. Among the audience were representatives of Manifattura Gamba of Pesaro, producers of fine hotel linen and textile furnishings. This meeting marked the start of a joint project: in fact, for some time Gamba had been considering the idea of combining its original activities - linen hire, laundry services, production of fine fabrics and upholstery for padded furniture - with a stronger presence in the hotel furnishing sector. The goal: to participate in the forthcoming edition of HOST Milano. And this is where noa* came in, enlisted to provide professional and creative support.

The two teams wasted no time and met up to start developing some ideas to present at the show. As well as creating a striking stand for Gamba, noa* had the role of designing a compact hotel room, particularly suitable for an urban context. The architects therefore designed a minimalist room, designed for the classic city tourist who stays in a hotel for one or two nights at the most, but at the same time notable for the functionality of its furnishings and facilities - all of which enclosed in a restricted yet nonetheless pleasant space.


Two and-a-half metres wide by six and-a-half metres long, the hotel room designed by noa* measures just 16.25 square metres and is perfect for replicating in the hotels of cities such as Milan, for example. The compactness of the room is evident as soon as you open the door with the wardrobe providing laminated shelves and an iron structure for suitcases created from a little niche. Leaving the wardrobe behind you, the attention is immediately drawn to the first unique feature of the project: a glass shower in the middle of the room, a fascinating meeting of the internal and external, of the chaos of everyday life and complete relaxation. The shower therefore becomes the focal point of the room, eliminating the barrier between the bathroom and the bedroom.

Every element, every centimetre, is studied in detail. Separated only by a thin mirror, the washbasin and desk, located opposite each other, form an innovative divider for the entire space, which culminates with the custom-made bed. Suspended on a pedestal and clearly positioned towards the window - with a raised headboard and footboard upholstered in velvet and four pillows in soft fabric - the bed is perceived as a piece of architecture in itself. The underlying theme of the entire project is pleasant acoustics, guaranteed by the fabric surfaces and the integration of the TV and the lighting in a strategic position. In fact, noa* created a welcoming niche that also stands out for its practical details, such as the space for accommodating luggage.


The mini hotel room made its debut at the HOST show in Milan. To give the practically square 7x8-metre Gamba stand an extra dynamic feel, the space was created at a slight diagonal angle with relaxation areas for visitors providing seats and a 360° view of the room. To simulate the walls, noa* used a sophisticated structure that made it possible to gain glimpses of the interior spaces, perfectly reproducing the proportions of the room: a black wooden support was adorned with black elastic bands, to be pulled and fixed in place in the room, to create a pleasant, transparent effect that drew the visitors in. The threads were also a clear reference to the company motto and its 100-year history – “Yarn a hundred years long…” – as well as a metaphor for a loom, from which Manifattura Gamba was proverbially born.

The hotel room does not leave space for allusions but invites guests to experience compelling emotions in real time. Just a couple of steps and they can find themselves immersed in a world of greenery that shimmers in varied hues of the colour depending on the light. The natural continuation of the green brushed resin floor can be seen in the colours of the walls, the mosaic tiles in the shower area, the bathroom furniture, the upholstery fabrics and the curtains. There is nothing random about the choice of colours: noa* set itself the goal of bringing the green of nature into the room. The various shades of green, always uniform, are accentuated by the gold of the accessories. The flower of the Garda logo is also green. A concept faithful to itself in every last detail.


  • Typology: Fair stand
  • Location: Host Milano Fair (Italy)
  • Client: Gamba 1918
  • Completion: October 2019
  • Surface area: 56 m2
  • Original text (DE): Barbara Jahn-Rösel