Andrea Auletta helms design of Starhotels' first ecological property, E.c.ho.

Starhotels launched its first ecological property, E.c.ho., in the center of Milan. The name of this ecological contemporary hotel is said to reflect its core premise that good design and environmental awareness can go hand in hand.

Every aspect of E.c.ho's design is mindful of reducing the property's ecological footprint. Examples include the 410 square feet of solar panels that provide energy to light the corridors and public spaces, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 11 tons annually. The high-efficiency condensing boilers reduce emissions by a further 75 tons per year, while water recovery systems reduce water consumption by 20 percent.

Under the direction of designer Andrea Auletta, E.c.ho.'s interiors employ eco-friendly and recycled materials throughout. These include the cedar-log tables in the lobby, made using wood from sustainable forests; and energy-efficient glass in the conservatory. The hotel's lighting follows the natural rhythms of daylight, intelligent climatization systems constantly balance comfort with energy consumption, and even the mattresses in the 143 rooms including eight junior suites and six suites are eco-friendly.

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A terrace looks out onto a central garden, and a Renaissance chapel by the architect of St Peter's Basilica, Donato Bramante, create an outdoor haven. For diners, available is “Orto Green Food & Mood” restaurant, boasting the use of organic produce wherever possible.

Other features include the panoramic Fitness Suite, located on the top floor of the hotel; and the conference center's five high-tech meeting rooms for a total capacity of 240.

Photo credit: Stefano Scatà