Three design decisions shaped the proposal for the “Dune beach Hotel” by George Batzios Architects. The plot is located in Lefkada, in Nydri town, where the first move was to isolate the site from the rest of the residential area and then arrange hotel’s spaces in a Pi ( Π ) shape. Next move was to let the sea intrude to the free area in the middle of this Π, forming new landscape. Finally, a wooden skin covers the building creating a new relationship between the exterior and the interior of the project and it’s environment.
-text by the editor
Lefkada is one of the most beautiful Greek islands, famous for its natural setups and ecosystems. Since the 1976 earthquake, Lefkada’s cities followed an unruly urban and architectural development with no respect to nature nor to the contemporary human needs.
Our proposal aims to restore the relation between the local natural environment and the new hotel architecture. Our architecture highlights and gets defined by the local natural setups and it disdains the hectic urban environment.
Commercially, our proposal suggests an innovative hospitality model, which features the creation of a private beach hotel. Hotel tenants have direct access to their own piece of a private “natural” beach. The adjacent Nydri beach intrudes the hotel architectural setup in order to get closer to each tenant’s room, studio or suite.
To achieve this, we proceeded to 3 major design decisions. Firstly, the new hotel is cut off from the rest of the town of Nydri by a hard concrete wall on the border with the town, keeping an open side looking towards the sea. Therefore, a Pi ( Π ) – shaped building is formed hugging the beach, while disdaining the inelegant town. Secondly, we let the coastal ecosystem intrude the hotel’s patio, as an essential part of the design process. Thirdly, a soft wooden skin is placed in the building’s border with the patio to give a natural aspect to the interior facade of the hotel.
The outdoor public area, which acts as an extension of the beach, is characterized by two predominant elements. The artificial sand dunes will be stabilized, following the latest and already certified, state of the art, technical solutions. The proposed plantation, will be placed in the adequate distance from the water element, in order to ensure its sustainability.
The central idea of the landscape design is the synergy of coastal beach landscape and the building complex in a coherent inseparable unit. The landscape design aspires to create a natural ecological Mediterranean “paradise” with a mutual relationship and interaction with the beach, an hybrid land¬scape – artificial and ecological – where luxury and ecosystem coexist equally. The mail compositional element of the landscape design is sand dune system, an element of the Mediterranean habitat of the sand dunes as a reference to the protected areas of Ionian sand dune ecosystem.
The main compositional element of the landscape design is the habitat of the sand dunes of the protected areas of the Ionian sand dunes. This element is discomposed to its main structure: landfill and vegetation types, that constitutes the main compositional tools of the design. Landfills and plantation are re-organized on a fluid design system that connects the patio of the building with the beach in a natural way. The new “fluid” landscape of dunes, vegetation and fluid-shaped water elements creates a strong identity. The synergy with the linear – strict boundaries of the building and the fluid lines of the landscape creates an interesting contrast that promotes the concept of the “invasion” of nature.
Credits & Details
Project: dunes individual beach hotel
Architecture Firm: Georges Batzios Architects
Completion Year (if applies): 2024
Gross Built Area: 3000 sqm
Project location: Lefkada Greece
Lead Architects: Georges Batzios Architects
Renderings credits: Georges Batzios Architects
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV4J5QN_Qfs&t=2s
Design Team: georges batzios, spyros kleissas, olga keleki, stavros franzios, emmanuela mathioudaki, rea skarmalioraki, vasia theodoraki, manto monogiou
Clients: Private Command
Engineering: A. karanikolas & associates, Papagrigorakis & associates,
Landscape: Topio 7
Consultants: Eleni Chatziioanou