Aphrodite Astir Hotel
How can one offer up the mythical beauty of the Mediterranean Sea while respecting its delicate balance? How can one provide an intimate place to enjoy the quiet Saronic seaside a few kilometers away from the bustling metropolitan center of Athens? How can one have a full range of services without altering the landscape?
We wanted to preserve the natural landscape of this breathtaking site as much as possible. We also decided to maintain a low structure close to the topography and to retain the existing access road. The coastal relief helped us provide a view from every room, suggesting a ribbon or “string” curling along the steep slope and enveloping three-dimensional exterior spaces, while offering both the intimacy of interiority and infinite views open to the horizon. As it unwinds, the string dissolves into the woods, with bungalows gently inserted into the rocks near the bluffs.
On the sides of the lobby, one can access a terrace-esplanade nested in the loop: one can walk on the roof of the string in a meandering promenade while admiring the surrounding landscape. On the terrace, a large swimming pool overlooks the sea. All services—sauna, recreation, and event rooms—open onto the terrace/esplanade.
Every room has an open view to the sea while offering privacy. The facade of the string is a crystalline band of light and shadow nestled in the rocks and woods. All the lower-level rooms and bungalows have a plunge pool. Each room has a balcony with a transparent glass guardrail and translucent side-screens facing the sea, offering privacy and calm.
When arriving at the hotel, the visitor faces a vertiginous panorama open onto the horizon which, as he or she moves through the lobby, plunges down to accommodate the double height of the restaurant and beyond, all the way to the beach. back
Competition 1st Prize, 2008
Astir Hotels, Greece
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Joel Rutten, Nefeli Chatzimina, Thanasis Manis. Consultants: Dimitris Papalexopoulos Architects back