Old Castle Oia
The hotel is located on the northwestern part of the traditional settlement of Oia, Santorini, beneath the limits of the old medieval castle, Castelli, looking over the sea, Thirasia island and the world-famous Santorini sunset. Access to the building is provided from a stepped lane connecting Castelli to Ammoudi, its old harbor.
The building, a 19th-century two-story house with an old bread oven, a mule barn, small storage rooms, and a rainwater tank on the ground level, and all main rooms on the first floor, was in a state of ruin, structurally perilous with a derelict shell.
After thorough analysis of the old building, of its morphology and ornaments, the architectural restoration aimed to strictly preserve its initial appearance and interior space, without any compromises on its character or integration into the volcanic landscape and traditional settlement.
In the framework of its intended use as a hotel, a few minor modifications were undertaken in the outdoor spaces of the building: Renovation saw the construction of small water surfaces-swimming pools, sitting areas and partitions, and the differentiation of the two external stairs and interior distribution.
The hotel comprises three rooms on the ground level and two more on the first floor, each with its independent access courtyard and integrated lounge, bedroom, vestiary, and bathroom. The terrace accommodates a shared sitting area for patrons, with uninterrupted views of the caldera.
The white plasticity of the grotto rooms on the former ground level is complete with new, bespoke furniture. As a counterpoint, the lines and geometries of the old house interior are accentuated and highlighted, with the addition of new, bespoke colorful wooden furniture and a new oak floor, in the framework of a minimal island-neoclassical style. The surfaces of the baths and the mezzanine are faced with traditional pressed cement.
Local stone and heat-insulating bricks were used as wall infill. Ground-retaining walls in the landscaping were carried out in reinforced concrete and stone, with the necessary use of sprayed concrete on the interior and exterior surfaces of the building for structural reinforcement and water insulation.
The use of local volcanic rock on the retaining walls, brown-gray plaster on the facades and exterior floors, and grey wooden frames, contribute to the smooth integration of the building to its surroundings by means of its materiality, colors, and textures.
Olives, a palm tree at the entrance of the compound, lavender, thyme, and wind-resistant shrubs complete the building’s integration into its singular environment.