Casa dell'Arte has already opened, a hotel where art is queen
One of the features that makes this luxury hotel so special is its strong artistic component
Five years ago, Ahu Serter went to Lisbon for the first time, before the Portuguese capital become popular as it is nowadays. Since then, the Turkish businesswoman has searched for a property that would fill her expectations. "I didn't want a project that was too big or modern, but rather something intimate," she recalls. This is how Casa dell'Arte was born, in Campo de Santa Clara, a luxury hotel unit that counts only six suites.
Casa dell'Arte was built in 1783. This beautiful old building has a tiled façade that "obliges" passersby to stop to take pictures. "This space was made for me, not only by the history that it contained, but also by the way it was preserved," says Ahu Serter. The good condition of the building did not require major renovations, and the businesswoman chose to preserve its architectural design.
The view from the hotel and details of the interior
"One of the features that makes this luxury hotel so special is its strong artistic component. You just have to stroll two minutes through the Casa dell'Arte, to realize that the art is in every corner. Even in the bathroom! "Some people think that art should only be displayed in the best places, but for us art must be everywhere," explains the businesswoman. The artistic assets present in Casa dell'Arte come from the family collection of Ahu Serter. "We are one of Turkey's greatest art collectors."
"My parents started collecting Turkish modern art," she recalls. Ahu's sister is a curator at Goldsmiths, so it was because of her that they started "adding to the collection more photography and modern art". Now " that we are in Lisbon, we are adding Portuguese artists". One of these artists is Miguel A. Rodrigues, who in recent years has dedicated himself to the artistic analysis of the Baroque.
One of the peculiarities of this accommodation is that its decoration perfectly matches the Portuguese and Turkish aesthetics. "All the projects I saw in Portugal were modern and minimalist. I wanted to keep the Portuguese essence and I think this goes very well with the Turkish decoration", says Ahu Serter. "Our carpet is our masterpiece here, it's unique in the world. But all the pieces come together well, you can't differentiate one culture from the other, she adds.
One of the rooms of Casa dell'Arte
The entrepreneur's goal is not just to have a luxury hotel with a remarkable concept. Casa dell'Arte, as the name implies, also intends to be a place of passage for the artists, and it's going to have constant turnover of their works, as well as workshops and an artistic residency program. In addition, this hotel also has a gallery, a bookstore and a cafeteria. "Our goal is not only to have more works of art to put on the walls, but also to have the artists here collaborate with us and to do workshops," explains Ahu.
If you don't intend to spend the night in Casa dell'Arte, you can just stop to enjoy the sights and experience the famous Turkish coffee. "Turkish coffee has a funny feature," says Ahu Serter. "After we drink it, we can read our luck inside the cup," she explains. In Turkey it's said that a cup of coffee contains forty years of wisdom and added value. "When I offer someone a cup of coffee, it's as if I've been offering them my friendship for 40 years. Because in an hour of conversation we can cover many years of life, if we are efficient, she jokes.
”The affection of Ahu Serter by Portugal in her speech is notorious. "Portugal is like some European countries twenty years ago, it is still 'naïve' and remains almost untouched," she says. "Portugal for me is not a standard European city, it has its own flavor, just like Istanbul," she adds. For Ahu, the biggest differentiating element is the people. "Another thing I like in Portugal is that there's no discrimination against anyone, there is no prejudice. At such a time of worldwide turmoil in terms of tolerance, I think Portugal is a good example. It invites people to come in, to revitalize the country. "
Learn more about Casa dell'Arte here.
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