The clients’ request was a masterplan and overall design of the various uses for a yoga retreat in Spartia, Kefalonia. Guided by the compelling features of the plot’s landscape, our gestures were harmonious and confident: the position and shape of each space emerged almost immediately in front of us during our short visit there.
The plot is a beautiful olive grove with trees aligned parallelly and in close proximity to each other. As a result, the visitor enjoys a “myopic” experience where the site’s various spots reveal themselves (to the visitor) and then disappear again due to perspective, while the view, either to the mountain or to the sea, emerges from favored positions, framed by trees. Thus, some areas end up more private and others more exposed. Due to its morphology, the site is naturally split into two levels. We took advantage of this 2m-high difference to introduce a planted roof “camouflaged open-air house” shared by the guests of the yoga retreat. This comprises of a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, a communal dining table, a built-in sitting area and bed, showers and bathrooms. The main house is situated at the top level in order to have access to the surrounding view and maintain privacy. The swimming pool follows the linear arrangement of the trees and its edge faces towards the sea. The yoga center is a semi-outdoor, permeable structure, coated with bamboo poles, which protect from the sun while also allowing selective visual «escapes» to the surrounding environment. In order for the structure to be protected in all weather conditions, it will be surrounded by metallized polyester curtains; in addition to its thermal properties, this material has the unique ability to mirror the adjacent space by eliminating the volume of the yoga space and making it “disappear” into the tree-lined landscape.
All forms are elongated and irregular, following the alignment of trees and the decision not to remove a single one. The end result is spaces that flow into each other and into the surroundings. The materials chosen are entirely natural, earthy and locally produced with durability over time and resistant to Kefalonia’s humid weather.
(The project’s title is borrowed from Abbas Kiarostami’s eponymous film)