The original drawings for the restoration of the four ruined buildings in Monemvasia Castle and their transformation into a hotel, had already been completed since 1995 by other colleagues. When, more than ten years later, due to the heavy bureaucracy the owners were ready to start construction, it became apparent that the design was obsolete. A serious revision was necessary in order to refresh the volume arrangement, uses and layout. There was also a new discussion about what would be the particular character of the hotel.
The restoration had to respect the strict regulations which protect the typology of the Monemvasian house in respect to its exterior form.
At the same time, a decision was made to favor multiple public/shared spaces over a larger number of rooms. Following this, the revised design started from the “heart” of the hotel by unfolding a series of connected public spaces, which stretch over two floors and which serve as reception, breakfast room, living space, library, games room, small concert hall, space for socializing and space for isolation. Great emphasis was given to the exterior areas, the verandas and courtyards as well as to the large public roof terrace where one can enjoy the panoramic view of the settlement and the sea.
In terms of the rooms, the original medieval footprint of the buildings’ dividing walls was kept, resulting in rooms of all different sizes and layouts (rather than a homogeneous size for all rooms) with unique antique furniture and decoration. Spread out over various floor levels, certain ones enjoy the dew and atmosphere of the 80 cm thick solid stone walls bearing fragments of ceramic water pipes and marble details while others include fireplaces, sculpted stone elements and balconies with handmade mosaic floors.
The guests’ experience is enhanced by the sensation of the familiar and the unique within the rooms as well as by the possibility of new encounters in the interior and exterior public spaces, often during cultural events.