Villa Bordeaux occupies a prominent location in the centre of Fira with impressive views towards the caldera. The building has a landmark status: with its thick arcades which seem to retain a De Chirico aura and its facades of a rich bordeaux (burgundy) colour, a colour that has come to stand for monumental buildings in Santorini.
The renovation of this historical building aimed in establishing a hotel of few rooms next to the new outpost of top restaurant La Colline of Moscow. The design is inspired by Frangomachalas, the small historic part of Fira built by the Venetians, featuring a refined architecture of thick ochre walls and metal doors.
A departure from the all white Cycladic aesthetic, the hotel instills a modern approach within a traditional vocabulary. In the reception hall, a lighting installation relates to the western view towards the caldera, the flickering reflection of the sun in the sea. From there, access is granted to the two ground floor rooms as well as to La Colline, the indoor restaurant that retains the existing double barrel vault, filtered by a metal screen – the motif here relates to the famous Lilies Fresco found at the prehistoric archeological site of Akrotiri.
The western room on the ground floor features a central island unit that combines bed and bath — a floating arrangement that echoes the position of the volcano within Santorini. Between bed and bath, a patinated dark bronze filter with triangular incisions discloses an untreated shiny bronze interior; when this interior is lit, a “volcanic” scene is emulated.
The two other rooms are located at the lower floor where cavernous vaults dominate, shaping a more complex and organic plan. Each basement room retains a whole arcade to itself, acquiring full privacy, a quite impossible task at the densely built caldera landscape. On the exterior, the outdoor part of La Colline is placed along the rim of the cliff, with an adjacent bar and the swimming pool.