This 20-room hotel (a joint project between Divercity and Mplusm) is carved into the cliff-face 300m above Santorini’s volcanic caldera. The understated design allows this extraordinary landscape to take centre stage. The hotel provides a contemporary interpretation of vernacular architecture: economy of space, radical simplicity, and organic forms. The infinity pool’s jagged outline echoes the zigzag paths that criss-cross Santorini’s sheer terrain. The hotel’s original concept was to follow the broken geometries of the ground’s contours, forming a series of ledges into the steep gradient of the Caldera. The understated design allows this extraordinary landscape to take centre stage.
Santorini’s hotel rooms are invariably front-loaded to face the view, leaving residents exposed to passers-by. To ensure privacy, fragments of volcanic rock are positioned in the windows of four rooms, interspersed with apertures that provide glimpses to the sea. The feature echoes a local architectural technique, more commonly used for retaining walls, in which minimal amounts of mortar are used, leaving gaps between the stonework. By exposing the stones and exaggerating the spaces between them, this light-filtering screen allows privacy and ventilation and casts dappled shadows as the sun goes down.
The villa and the rooms keep the radical simplicity and the organic forms of the hotel while providing a contemporary interpretation of vernacular architecture. The interiors are inspired by the local natural and geological surroundings, specifically the volcano and properties of porosity. The bespoke black and white resin floor, inspired by the stone-cobbled narrow pathways (calderimia) of Cyclades, lead the guests to the room.
The Villa (designed by Divercity and added to the hotel 2 yeas later), and Volcanic Spa, includes a master bedroom with lounge area, an en-suite bathroom, dressing area, show kitchen, and a guest bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. An exclusive spa area is dedicated to the well being of the guests with therapies and treatments based on volcanic ash, vines, and lava stones. The space is articulated through a sequence of thick walls with concave openings, prismatic patterns on the floor and rock-carved furniture. The thick porous walls of the master bedroom and the Volcanic Spa are interspersed with apertures that provide glimpses from one room to another as well as the exterior view.Location: Santorini, Greece Architect: Grace Santorini Hotel – joint project between Divercity & Mplusm Architect: The Villa: Divercity Project name: Grace Santorini Hotel & Villa
Collaborators: Mplusm, architects
Sophia Vantaraki, space consultant Contractor: FMI Photos: Erieta Attali & Serge Detalle