Under the Steps
A reinterpretation of the greek tourism landscape
Elective Design Course
University of Thessaly
Under the Steps reexamines the interaction between tourism and landscape in Greece. Specifically, it focuses on how to build touristic infrastructure in the typical Greek scenery next to the beach, taking the iconic landscape of Cyclades islands as a potential plot. The experimentation begins with alternate ways to integrate the building into the landscape without trying to hide it, but by highlighting it. Furthermore, the relationship between public and private among tourists and visitors of the beach is under consideration throughout the design process.
The design of the small hotel starts with the formation of the outer shell in a way that is inviting towards the visitor of the beach and not repulsive like similar facilities usually arel. The emblematic gesture of a huge staircase will give the solution. Looking like it emerged from the landscape, it gives the feeling that the building belongs to the scenery and the visitor of it, while all the private activities are hidden beneath it. All the walls of the building bearing the tiered concrete plate of the roof, are built from big concrete blocks forming only some small openings at the joints of them. Subsequently the visitor familiarizes with a building that seems to be more part of the landscape rather than a private hotel.
All the functions of the hotel are organized in the spacious undivided interior space of the building. Each room is a different platform hanging above the ground floor. These platforms-rooms are all in different levels and have no walls. Tree units (bed, shower, toilet) covering the basic amenities, as well as some plants and greenery at the edge, are placed on them. Each one of the platformes is accessed through its own staircase, while all the staircases start from the ground floor.
The ground floor constitutes the common ground for all the guests of the hotel hosting various common facilities such as for cooking, relaxing, reading and socializing. This common ground offers an alternate experience of cohabitation to the guests. In conclusion, Under the Steps reinterprets both the relationship between visitor and landscape as well as the boundaries of the community being formed by them, giving a new meaning to summer holidays in Greece.