Team: Louis Barault, Louiza Polyzogopoulou ,Clelia Ntassi, Marco Piras
Galazia Akti Resort sits in a vast area of 30.000 sq.m. and includes a 600 sq.m structure right on the beach that serves as a restaurant, self service area and lounge. Additional facilities include a beach bar, sunbeds area, VIP area, playground, changing rooms, restrooms and parking.
The first issue the architects had to tackle was the location itself. The site all year long is hit by the sun, winds and humidity, making it very challenging in terms of choosing materials that would endure the weather conditions and deciding what kind of structure would be appropriate in a beach environment without altering the scenery. Another challenge was that the facilities were scattered around the site with no clear routes or sense of orientation. In the food and beverage area the great height of the pitched roofs was creating an unwelcoming atmosphere with no separation between areas of different uses (restaurant, self service, bar lounge).
The initial research of the architects focused in finding a structural element that would, through several forms, characterize the intervention and unify the distinct parts of the resort. A lightweight structure made of natural materials that would change and adjust in order to fulfill different purposes. Based mainly on the traditional wooden element “kafasoto” found everywhere throughout Greece, a wooden panel with latches placed on a random angular system was chosen as the connecting link. It transforms, according to its use, into horizontal or vertical shading element, into lightweight separating panel, or even as a façade cladding technique.
In the restaurant and lounge area, as well as at the entity of the intervention area, tones of grey were used to color the structural elements. To the covered areas concrete flooring was applied. Through intensive parametric design, a web of natural ropes is deployed under the pitched roofs creating an interesting linkage both between the ground surface, the inclined roof planes and the three distinct areas of the plan. The set of tense ropes, obtained through the use of steel turnbuckles, refers to the masts of traditional sailing boats navigating the Greek seas. Finally, “psatha” a material linked so closely to the Greek summer is used in vertical paneling systems in the restaurant area.