The building was originally erected in the 1830’s as part of a monastery facility; following several expansions of the original tower-like structure, it became a “metohi” serving ecclesiastical habitation. After long-lasting abandonment, eroded by the weather and nature, it has suffered severe structural damages resulting to partial collapses of its domes, outer walls and roof.
The restoration of the building envelope has been a demanding task, and it required advanced technical thinking and resourceful implementation. The main purpose was to highlight the geometry and the visible stonework of the house and to re-introduce the building as a shell originating from its founding ground.
The structural restoration required more than 15,000 liters of cement injections, with wall thickness up to 1,20m. The grouting was performed by a traditional mixture of ceramic flour and pumice, under the care of local craftsmen. Old stones were recovered from the Stonehouse yards, from local suppliers and quarries. They were used to rehabilitate the shell, the floorings, the stairs and the 'cobbled pavings' inside and outside the building. The foundation rocks were exposed or preserved. The openings were kept at their original dimensions, maintaining their often miniscule size of 1.40 height. Lighting opted to embrace and put an accent to the geometry and the texture of the building shell. The contemporary elements were designed with a sense of fundamental simplicity and an understated cleanness, characterizing the Mani Peninsula, its landscape and way of living.
Eleanthi may be divided into 5 independent habitats, or alternatively 3 or 2; it may also be experienced as a large residence with the capacity to accommodate up to 12 guests. It has 2 courtyards; the first one is enclosed and features an old mulberry tree – the second one offers unobstructed views of the imposing Taigetos ridge and the sky. Several verandas at various levels also offer views to the village, carrying the visitor’s gaze from the ground to the surrounding landscape, and ultimately to the sea.
“Eleanthi” stands as an 'archival', almost archaic imprint of its era, preserving the memories of its “handmade” quality and tracing the passing of time through the eternal landscape, over the centuries. It invites the guest to experience the ways of “being” in an old, yet contemporary and eventually timeless small stone settlement in southern Greece, with a smell of thyme and lavender and an abundance of summer light.