Architecture

Saint Hotel

Words by Nhat Vo

Saint Hotel external views

From an aerial view, Saint Hotel in Santorini is a complex of diagrammatic shapes being aggregated in a maze-like manner with a central stairway leading to different zones within the cluster. Although posing as a new addition to the village of Odi, this design by Kapsimalis Architects borrows the alley-like circulation from its surroundings and contextually applies it to the project itself.

Saint Hotel living space
Saint Hotel outdoor pool

Renovated from older structures such as barns and cellars, the new development encases a new appearance with white walls and blue strips that cast views over the Mediterranean Ocean. Cascading like the site itself, the entire entity is a multitude of heights and offsets. The project’s foundation is embedded onto the landscape, contouring and being cautious not to cover the land upon which it’s built.

Saint Hotel facade
Saint Hotel facade

Facing the vast nature are openings of varied configurations, all promise every colour of the sky at sunset. This openness is limited by divisions of white walls and exposed bedrocks, creating a private enclosure for individual terraces and pools for each of sixteen cove-like rooms. The occasional insertion of the site’s rawness gives a historical contrast to the pristine and geometric structures.

Designed to the human scale with the aim of a tranquil retreat, each room is embedded within the slopy terrain. With this strategy, the architects were able to deliver an intimate experience to the guests; not only that, this design decision also acts as an insulation of the structure to the scorching sun.

Saint Hotel bedroom
Saint Hotel bathroom

On the interior, guests encounter minimal furnishes with a main palette of white—imitating the all-white exterior. The earthen-coloured flooring gives the inside a peaceful visual, while soft lights in purposeful locations help one immerse in a tender sensibility. Sometimes, splashes of colour like wine red, cyan blue, and peach pink complement the austere inner space.

Saint Hotel living room
Saint Hotel living room

All the private rooms are connected to a communal pool, restaurant, spa, and gym that visually overflows the landscape. Touches of green vegetations appear periodically, making Saint Hotel almost like a natural land art that emits both elegance and ecccentricity.

Saint Hotel reception area
Saint Hotel reception area
Saint Hotel aerial view
Photography
Giorgos Sfakianakis
Lead Architects
Kapsimalis Architects
Website
kapsimalisarchitects.com
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