Astir Palace Gate

Astir Palace Gate, Vouliagmeni, Greece, SPARCH SakellaridouPapanikolaou Architects
Project year : 2008
Architect(s) :
Address : Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni, ATHENS, Greece
Latitude/Longitude : 37.804917,23.768584

Photographs :

Architectural Design : Rena Sakellaridou, Morpho Papanikolaou (SPARCH)
Collaborators : I.Kloni, N.Katsikis, G.Anagnostelis, G.Adhlenidou

Text description provided by the architects. During a renovation of Astir Palace, a luxury resort 25kms away from the centre of Athens, the architects were asked to design an entrance Gate and to upgrade the entrance of the Nafsika Hotel (the Canopy). In both cases they designed an interface.

The Gate

The gate acts like a border and its design allows space to pass through and dissolve. An existing huge ficus tree on site defined a point of reference. The design includes two inlets in mild curves that one is transparent and the other one is opaque. Fluid space, vertical metal grids, a continuous curve that unfolds in order to enclose, to create the in-between, to accept the natural. The steel structure was painted white and transparent and semi-transparent glass was also used, while the floor is covered with white matte marble.

The Canopy

An interesting interplay with semi-transparency and light is offered through a series of undulating white metal vertical grids that are placed around the air-conditioning ducts on the roof. The curved form of the canopy extends on the two sides to create a sense of enclosure. The white columns introduce strong verticality. The shops of the design lokk like white matte marble ‘boxes’ inserted into the slope. Round skylights penetrate the canopy. White marble and olive trees synthesize an artificial landscape.

The common ground for the concept

The two projects are hybrids, as they were born on the common-ground of what exists with that that is emerging. Each one is given its individuality and the exteriority through an osmosis between the interiority in which they are born, be it landscape, architecture, programme, image or nature, that connects it with everything else.

Contributed by SPARCH Sakellaridou/Papanikolaou Architects