THEMATIC TOURISM: THE APPEARANCE OF A HOTEL AS A REFLECTION OF THE IMMATERIAL SPIRIT OF A DESTINATION
IKARIA HOTEL IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Hotels and Leisure
With 60 years of experience in the design and management of space and the relationship of people with the natural environment, architecture firm Thymio Papayannis and Associates S.A., was commissioned to undertake a very special challenge: the design of a thematic luxury hotel in the Middle East, based on the lifestyle found on the Greek island of Ikaria.
Hotels and Leisure
Dubai - UAE
Salfo & Associates S.A.
This had to be achieved not by copying or imitating traditional forms, but rather by drawing elements from the natural and manmade characteristics of the island and recomposing them in a free and creative way.
The design aim was to conceive and express the spirit of Ikaria as a place, in a foreign context and at a different building scale than that of the Aegean architecture.
The basic design concept, both for the interiors and the exteriors, was the creation of a ‘landscape building’, with references to the rock formations of Ikaria’s impressive landscape.
The building’s volume emerges as a monolithic rock-sculpture that is sculpted by and interacts with the light, the shadow, and the wind; a rock that is inhabited by its temporary users, highlighting the pivotal role of nature and the unique, Ikarian way of its inhabitation.
The proposed design is inspired by the impressive landscape of Ikaria, which is defined by rocky volumes that interact with vegetation, light and shadow, under the Aegean wind and sun.
As such, it draws from Aegean settlements, where clusters of homes are hanging from the cliffs and create organic groups and neighborhoods.
Organic forms provide a unique inhabitation condition, where hotel guests experience living temporarily inside a sculpture. Meanwhile, the facades are carved into the building’s volume, expressing, and announcing internal functions.
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