Landscape: Hotel Palace and its 4,2-acre luxuriant Mediterranean park is located in the heart of Portorož, a town set in the Adriatic coast-line of Slovenia. The garden design celebrates historical significance, emphasizes carefully restored landscape elements and intertwines old and new. Entire area of the hotel is composed of five individual, yet interconnected landscape units, which create a recognizable language of the historical, reveal its hidden qualities and in the same manner subtly interweave the new program.
Originally designed three-partite parteire layout of the old park, emphasised by the clean lines of shrub and ground cover plants, highlights the main entrance and spectacular view on majestic architecture. An evergreen, low buxus hedge encloses the historical garden from the noisy street. The hedge, with a ‘cut-out’ forms for the benches oriented towards the sea, together with a contemporary transparent metal fence offers undisturbed views inside, both represent the contemporary transition between the road and the park. Over 300 Rosa and 2700 Buxus shrubs were planted in the parteire and two Camelia gardens, positioned symmetrically from the axis, create a palpable link with the past. Nearly all of the existing hundred year old trees were kept, replacing just those that were too ill with new, several meters high plants.
The seam between the historical park and new entrance axis follows the architectural idea of entering the hotel at the back, where a roof garden with an active water feature greets the guest. Leading the guest through a glass, two stories high reception – interior garden, the designers created a new water promenade with palm tree allee and sculptures that will with the future project already in planning phase once again connect the entire park with the sea. Linear water surfaces are sculpted out of 1500 ‘fish-skin’ elements that break the water-flow into thousands of drops, creating a spectacular play of water and light.
The roof garden over hotel’s underground garage is distinguished by elliptic shaped hedges, walls, paving and active water feature that hides the needed bus/car traffic and short-term parking. Here a rose flower- a synonym of Portoroz (Port of roses) is abstracted in the layout of 89 colored vertical water-flows. A pool area and spa garden, the most private part of the park, set a modern backdrop with an ancient olive tree line towards the promenade and specially designed pavilions in a palm and bamboo framed garden.
Project: Kempinski Palace Hotel, landscape design and historic park restoration
Landscape Architecture: Landscape
Location: Portorose, Slovenia
Client: Istrabenz Hoteli Portorož d.o.o.
Area: 26.500 m2
Architecture: Api d.o.o.
Interior: Desseins Jean-Claude Laville
Photo: Beppe Raso, Peter Irman, Landscape d.o.o.