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Akelarre is more than forty years of identity development. A precise connection of tradition and time with the obsession for investigation and innovation. It’s precisely this symbiosis in the integration of context and innovation what defines the spirit of Akelarre Hotel. In this background, mecanismo forges a meticulous project of design and construction of the Hotel. The careful selection of materials, furniture and the detailed execution distinguish specifically Akelarre Hotel; materials as a nexus between concept, form and function. The use of natural resources and materials, traditional whilst timeless; stone, wood, metal and linen, respecting their inner nature and properties in the process, but without relinquishing the advances of investigation and new technics for their manipulation and installation, characterizes the project and the studio itself.

The utilization of a different material in each volumetric construction and the thereon succession of materials every time they interfere or a geometry of shape is modified, defines the concept and functioning of the project while simultaneously generates diverse ambiences and finishes, providing the hotel with an unequivocal personality.
The Hotel is located a few kilometers away from the center of San Sebastián, in the North side of mount Igueldo, facing the Cantabric Sea, wrapping the old building that hosts the famous three Michelin stars restaurant. Five stone cubicles emerge from the hillside of the mount towards the sea, harboring in their interior the rooms. A total of 22 rooms, in two levels, all of them oriented to the sea and functionally similar regardless of their dimension or category.

Slightly sunk on the deck of the stone cubicles, six spaces of curved silhouettes conform the hotel common terraces. These, carved in the stone, connect with the rest of the platform by planked spaces and gardened areas, everything with an outstanding view to the horizon. A strand completely covered in wood, runs longitudinally at every level, as a circulation space by the cubes, connecting these with the common areas of the hotel; wellness, snack bar, wine cellar, and the lounge. Each of these spaces is a different and independent scenario connected to the whole via an equal formal and material language. In this line, the Oteiza snack bar has a divergent style from the restaurant but keeps a coherence and resemblance undeniable with the latter. The general amplitude of the context welcomes the visitor, a studied illumination together with the panoramic sights from the windows settle the space.

The lounge, also aligned with the architecture whole, gathers the desired sensations with the warmth of the textures, lights and materials, whilst distinctively personalized with the design of the furniture by mecanismo. With a direct access to the deck and terraces and the remarkable views that grants the position of the Hotel in the pronounced hillside of Igueldo. At the same level, the wine cellar is conceived in two areas, as a tasting room and as a space of conservation and exposition, divided by a stylish curved glass. The high table for tastings dominates the space, and the disposition and illumination of the expositor highlights the presence of the bottles as the most important element of the restaurant’s wine cellar. The wellness area is subdivided into two differentiated areas by a curved glass enclosure.

A wet zone with a swimming pool in stone accompanied by a sauna and a Turkish bath; and another zone with the three independent capsules for the client’s treatments, created by an innovative constructive system in stone. The warm access with the niches in canvas and five cabins as change rooms, together with a small gym, contextualize the space with a unforgettable esthetic taste. A project that combines the essence of characteristic innovation of Akelarre with the conceptual design and material dedication that define the practice of mecanismo.

Design: mecanismo
Photography: Juantxo Egana

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