Greek studio Kapsimalis Architects has transformed a complex of former homes, barns, and cellars on the island of Santorini into the new Saint Hotel. Located among a strip of buildings that form the edge of the village of Odi, the hotel consists of a small reception, sixteen rooms, a restaurant, a common pool area, and a spa-gym. These spaces are articulated gradually on the six levels of the complex.
The hotel entrance, which can be reached through the main village pedestrian, is on the upper level where the reception and an outdoor lounge area are located too. Α central exterior staircase leads from the upper level to the level of the restaurant and the infinity pool area, connecting the intermediate three levels which comprise the hotel rooms and their private yards and pools. The lowest level includes a spa reception, a small gym, massage rooms, hammam, sauna booths, and a private relaxation yard on the edge of the cliffs.
The form of the new cave hotel spaces retains the cave-house structure, the geometric shapes, the human scale, the materiality and the white color of the traditional motif. However, their floor plan typology and openings rotate, framing the sea view. Respectively, their facades follow the crooked lines of the existing natural elevation curves, like folding retaining walls that gently fit into the surrounding environment. The overlap of the above synthetic layers shapes the building’s final form and its intense dynamics. The downward movement of the central exterior staircase from the hotel entrance to the lowest part of the plot simulates a ‘’crack’’ in the buildings’ ‘body’, which directs movements and guests to the individual private and common hotel areas.
The interior design of the hotel follows an austere and minimal approach based on the Cycladic architecture norms. The existing caves’ interior space meets a ‘total white’ mood, with minimum touches of iridescent gold and green colors, while free built curves and free-standing amorphous furniture bring out and enhance its sculptural plasticity. The new cave hotel spaces are characterized by a ” la vie en bleu ”, Mediterranee, vivid-color aesthetic, with abstract references to the cosmopolitan resorts of the Mediterranean South, more geometrical though, correlating the shapes and volumes of the interior with the forms of the exterior synthesis.