Argo Boutique Hotel is one of the oldest tourist accommodations on the island of Naxos, located in Chora, in the area of Agios Georgios. The complex consists of a total of five buildings, two out of which have been completely redesigned, with major interventions having been implemented.
The study results in 14 rooms, created to meet the needs of a modern hotel accommodation. A relaxation area, comprising of a water compartment and a lounge bar, was created on the terrace of the main building. The new spaces fit harmoniously the existing construction, respecting both the original structure’s philosophy and the Cycladic architecture of the area, whilst attributing a modern, distinctive identity.
The aim of the architectural composition is to maintain the sensation of some of the island's features on the inside of the apartments, for visitors to feel familiar upon return to their room, thus offering them a holistic travel experience. Such elements are the sand, water and the colour of the sea, curves and the white colour which is characteristic of the traditional dwellings. Also, to help them perceive the transition from a closed and narrow space to the open, which one witnesses while walking in the Cycladic alleys around the castle of Naxos.
The space itself, the interior environment, interacts with the exterior by the use of morphological architectural elements and materials.
Given the existing shell of the structure, aspiring to create new, larger rooms was a design challenge. All the internal walls were removed for the chambers to be reformed, with the aim to create clear, single spaces that do not to follow a specific typology, since they are developed in a vertical and horizontal manner. This results in each room being distinctive.
In terms of architectural flow, cement mortar and quartz sand were selected as materials to be used on the floors, walls, and ceilings, to shape the individual spaces. This specific choice was made as a tribute to the island's coasts, referring to their colour and texture. The selection of glass and metal elements fortify and complement this sensation, creating a junction between traditional styles and new materials. Curved lines were drawn in all dimensions and layers. The use of a half-arch is found in each room, but also on the elevations of the building, as a modern feature of design intervention, reminiscent of the traditional "volta"- arches of the island.
The element of water dominates. Free-standing bathtubs were picked whilst large, transparent showers and built-in hot tubs were designed and placed in central parts of the rooms, taking the center stage.
The lighting design follows and reinforces the philosophy of the architectural composition. The curves are outlined by cove lighting, which along with accent lighting create an ambience in the space. The circular light fixtures in various sizes on the inside and outside of the building, refer to the starry summer sky. Simultaneously, the general lighting of the rooms is discreet, setting a bright, yet calm, interior environment.