From Recardo Bofill’s Lahead Fábrica to Heatherwick Studio’s Zeitz MOCAA, adaptive reuse has harnessed to produce some of the world’s most powerful architectural spaces, creating new narratives for formerly derelict and forgotten spaces. Greek architecture practice k-studio has utilized this method to form the Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, transforming an abandoned wine factory that dates back to the 1920s.
Following the collapse of Greece’s currant trade in the early 20th Century, wineries and distilleries were created throughout the country in order to convert unsold stock of currants into wine. Dexamenes was built along the sea in order to easily load ships with wine before setting sail to other overseas markets. Since this period, the industrial structures that came to characterize the region were left relatively untouched.
K-studio sought to not only preserve the strong history and raw beauty of the existing buildings but to emphasize them in a revitalized design. In order to achieve this the studio defined a complimentary palette of concrete, steel, timber and engineered glass. These materials ensured that new construction elements did not overwhelm the existing structures, allowing them to retain their presence.
The balance between old and new at Dexamenes Seaside Hotel is displayed immediately as entrants are greeted by the first of two elegant pavilions, attached to the original concrete tank buildings. The structure is characterized by two large, concrete blocks, each divided lengthwise into two rows of ten storage tanks. The tanks measure approximately 5 by 6 meters, making them perfectly sized to be hotel rooms.
Additionally, features such as the manholes and pipes in the façade of each tank and the patina of the internal wall surfaces have been preserved. The rooms open towards the sea, with the entire internal layout oriented to make the most of their immediate connection to the beach.
The space between the 2 rows of tank rooms was transformed from an industrial scrap yard into a serene courtyard garden. It consists of a shallow pool along with two preserved and accessible steel drums that sit atop the water.
Aside from providing elegant lodging, the Dexamenes Seaside Hotel also hosts an array of artistic events, such as exhibitions, workshops and lectures. This coupled with its physical revitalization allows this space to maintain a strong dialogue with the area and its history.
All images via k-studio