This hotel aims for the guests to experience the island and its unique qualities directly, not as a view in the distance. Thus the hotel must provide a contemporary version of the existing flavours and sensations, through discreet architecture rather than architecture imposing itself and overriding nature.
In order to fit a relatively large program into a beautiful plot without disturbing its integrity, the strategy uses elements found in this Cycladic Island: the existing vernacular architecture with its agricultural houses and “peristerones” (pigeon houses) latched onto or nested into a system of terraces in an idiosyncratic way, creating a rhythm and timbre specific to the island. The vegetation, texture and colour of the surrounding landscape and building, the palette of olives, stone, herbs and wild grasses is kept and worked with.
The volumes are broken up to match the scale of the island architecture using the cubic palette of the vernacular to blend in to the surroundings. The existing terraces serve as a structuring element and the volumes interlock with them. Many of the uses are hidden behind the terrace walls, so that the remaining buildings that appear on the landscape are minimized.
You approach from the top, past the tucked-away parking and reach the reception building. From here you descent to the art space which can be used independently for various uses or be the open transition to the restaurant. From this level you can also reach the hotel spa, which is tucked into the rock. Just a few steps below, separated but visually connected, you find the pool area, the second large public space of the hotel. Below this, the rooms and villas are dispersed on the plot in varying densities, in this way giving privacy and independent access to each of the volumes. The sea view is not directly in front of the site but to the side. So the building volumes avoid unsightly windows on the front, but are open to the side towards the view.