Perfectly attuned to the facilitators’ intentions to generate an exhibition that will enhance the visitor’s stimuli through experiential events and activities, the project “Into the Light Hotel” was created in order to promote a contemporary though timeless architectural approach of an exemplary Greek hotel model.
Responding to the challenge to create a space that would bring together all that is best in a hotel which is integrated in the Greek landscape and at the same time derives from it, A31 focused on the Greek Light, drawing inspiration for creation and functionality. The materials used are aligned with the essentialism that can be detected in the scenery, allowing to the light and its natural advantage to emerge and thrive. At the same time, the use of slim materials is consistent with the new construction ethics that prevent excess usage of raw materials, while making the building eco-wiser and lighter.
“Into the Light Hotel” introduces the visitor to the 100% Hotel Show through a path that triggers memories linked to the way we perceive light as it effortlessly fits into all our experiences. The project aims to highlight the plasticity of architectural volumes and components, as well as the materiality of the walls and the utilitarian objects.
“Greece is its cities, its mountains, its seas and its islands” is the main idea which summarizes in a sentence the approach behind the design and material choices, as “Into the Light Hotel” unfolds in 5 main sections:
1) The reception: An urban space which introduces the visitor to the concept and paves the way for the conquest of the integrated experience that shall follow. “Into the light – The installation” by A31 triggers memories and feelings and “The meeting”, a striking sculpture (1,80m) of Yiannis Moralis included in the scenery, prove the ability of art – when integrated appropriately- to “add” to the space and enhance the aesthetic result.
2) The Lobby: A place which allows connection with the mountainside of the mainland. Stone and burnished rusted steel illustrate the raw beauty which fascinates through the mere lack of any pomposity.
3) The Dining Room: A synthesis between classic and modern, allowing the harmonic conjunction of not only the elements included, but also the people for which it is intended. With its presence,
4) The garden: Arid plants in a sand pit compose a landscape that resembles that of the Greek islands. The water element, inextricably connected with the Mediterranean landscape, couldn’t of course be absent from the scenery.
5) The Room: A contemporary space with cement floor, white furniture and built-in bed, which could be found in a Cycladic hotel, comforting the visitor with its welcoming nature and its unpretentious feel.
Hosted in the lobby, the imposing work of the Greek artist Apollo Glykas, is affiliated to the architectural approach of A31, since it constitutes a modern implementation of Shadow Theatre, forking playfully between light and shadow with clear references to the folk tradition. At the centre of the artist’s attention, one can notice an honest inspection of Greece with all its contradictive elements, creating a result which does not hesitate neither to praise nor to taunt, providing the “Into the Light Hotel” with a genuine display of the components of “Greekness”. In the premises, visitors can also admire exquisite materials and artwork.
The applications of light through different perspectives and filters (modern trellises, skylights, pergola) trigger the visitor’s emotions, since surprise is being succeeded by warmth, feeling of safety and intimacy. In this experiential manner the visitor is not simply required to “grasp” the space, but actually enters and “fits” right into it, in an exact simulation of what should happen in an ideal hotel.
As they pass through the reception, lobby, dining room, garden, bedroom and bathroom, the visitors are able to come across materials in their practical application, while they are also provided with additional information on the specifications of materials and advice for ideal utilization.
Architect: A31 | Praxitelis Kondylis
Construction Management: Panagiotis Karras, Civil Engineer
Design Team: Praxitelis Kondylis, Stephanos Nasopoulos, Christos Spetseris
Light Design: L+DG Lighting Architects, Thomas Gravanis
Landscape Design: Archetopo, Shagik Berberian, Nicola Galiatsou
Photographer: Christos Drazos