In 2021, on a 79-acre plot of particularly impressing landscape with intense rock formations, A&M undertook the design of a new 5-star hotel development located in the Cretan capital of Chania.
The concept behind the design led to a development of a contemporary settlement with references to traditional architecture exuding a unique atmosphere inspired by the Monastic Architecture rich with references from the Cretan and Greek culture. This modern-day “village” is set to be developed around a central core that combines all communal uses, while harmonically blending with nature and its surrounding landscape, rich of olive trees and other Greek vegetation.
With respect to all surrounding natural elements, the harmonic co-existence of the settlement within its landscape, established a key goal for the design. To achieve a seamless integration with the natural scenery, emphasis was placed both on maximizing the view as well as the quality dynamic between the unified interior and exterior spaces, creating a direct connection with the pure environment. Paying special attention to orientation and energy requirements, the maintenance of a pre-existing olive grove along with the behaviour of the complex in the area’s microclimate, constituted a fundamental condition of sustainability that largely attributed the character of the hotel when integrated into the design.
The complex consists of a communal central building that functions as a core, while 23 villas are designed to surround it. The main core hosts areas such as the welcoming lobby, a central lounge, the restaurant, a spa, and the communal central pool, explicitly crafted to harmoniously blend with the rocky elements of the outdoor environment. All common areas are formed around the olive grove, revealed to the visitor upon entering the area through the central courtyard. The distinctive olive tree that dominates the center of the courtyard, directs traffic to the reception building while enhancing the local sense of place, embedded within the hotel’s identity. On a short distance from the main core, a second building volume is making its appearance featuring multipurpose rooms along with a dedicated yoga space. With the first type of villas strategically placed in a lower area allowing privacy to its users, the second type of villas are developed higher in the rocky slope to achieve full harmony within nature while offering unobstructed views of the Cretan Sea.
Design has resulted in the development of a settlement with ground floor building blocks along with the organic composition of villas which appear as if they’re lost in the rich landscape, creating independent enclosed courtyard spaces to reminisce the experience of a traditional village in a contemporary covering. Materials, colors, and proportions of the architectural analogies and scale, have a direct reference to the traditional architectural elements of the old town of Chania.