Best of 2020: The Saint

The hotel is placed on the edge of the traditional settlement of Ia, at a steep slope with uninterrupted views towards the sea and the volcano. The program involved the restoration of existing buildings, with the addition of new grotto rooms and shared spaces.

The complex unfolds on six levels. The project faithfully restores the existing buildings, in the spirit of a contemporary, discreet interpretation of the old settlement’s cubist morphology, in line with the sculptural terrain.

The shape of the new grotto houses retains the structure, geometry, materiality, and white color of vernacular buildings. However, their layout and openings turn, to frame the sea view. The facades follow the contours of the natural terrain as jagged lines materializing in folded retaining walls, gently integrated into the landscape.

The formal outcome is characterized by its intensely dynamic character, where the downward movement of the central exterior flight of steps appears as a crack in the “body” of the building.

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