We were asked to renovate the existing taverna, that sits in the cove underneath the Arionas Hotel in front of a sandy beach. Four Seasons envisioned this building as an updated Greek taverna that would operate throughout the day and into the night, offering the level of service implied by their brand but rooted in the Greek tradition of celebrating and sharing food in a beachfront location.
From the outset it was intentional that our proposal would be separated from the architecture of the cabanas above, taking its energy from the landscape so that it is in harmony with, and not attempting to compete with, the grander statements of the original modernistic structures. The pergola structures and volume of the original taverna were set into the landscape on two levels. This landscape of man-made dry stone terraces was our main inspiration when it came to designing the new taverna. Our proposal was to incorporate the building even further into it with new pergolas that would expand with its contours and blend into them.
The terraced landscape is intersected by stone pathways and access ramps throughout. This lends a dynamic, circulation-led geometry to the site, that encourages guests to trickle through from the hotel and cabana bungalows, down to the beach. In our proposal we try to translate this dynamic landscape into the form of the building and blend the 2 as much as possible. The back-of-house facilities of the building itself are contained within the stone-walls of the terrace, a submerged structure with a green roof. In front of them is an Iroko pergola, sitting in the footprint of the original pergola but inspired by the dynamic geometry of the site itself. Echoing the curved design of the Arion Hotel – and in contrast to the adjacent more formalistic Nafsika building – our pergola swerves in a response. Both of our pergolas take their form from the landscape, accentuating the terrace between them and interlocking like 2 bows.