PROJECT: αλάτι | sea ‘n salt cuisine
HOTEL: Vedema, A Luxury Collection Resort
LOCATION: Santorini, Greece
PROJECT STATUS: Completed, June 2014
LEAD DESIGNER: Stamos Hondrodimos
ASSOCIATE DESIGNER: Chrysi Makri
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Antonia Skaraki
PHOTOGRAPHY: George Fakaros
The αλάτι|sea ‘n salt cuisine is the refurbished main restaurant of the 5-star resort Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, a member of the world-wide alliance Starwood Hotels & Resorts. It is a paradigm example of the preservation of vernacular architecture on the island of Santorini. The hotel is built around a 400-year-old winery, located at the heart of the medieval village of Megalochori. These stone ‘canaves’ (the name given by the old Santorinians to their wineries) house the αλάτι|sea ‘n salt cuisine.
In January 2014, we were asked to plan and design the renewal of two very different design spaces, in order to create one seafood restaurant with an identical name and menu. The first space was a large stone canava which was part of the old winery and the second space was the terrace of this same winery. Our primary aim was to maintain and accentuate the unique architecture of these stone buildings while creating images of a vivid theatrical scenery. The old monastic furniture of the canava remained untouched in honour of the original 1992 design by Giannis Tseklenis.
The main aesthetic alterations primarily concerned the art de la table, the fabrics and décor of the room. Following the guidelines of a minimalist design, we focused on accenting the architectural framework which tells the exceptional story of Santorini’s wineries. Stone, wood, glass, paper and fire – those authentic, eternal and timeless elements become one and convey the feeling of tranquillity to the visitor through the passage of time. The predominant material in this space, the rough Santorinian stone, blends with the soft paper and thereby metaphorically emphasizes the great contrasts of the island. Hundreds of candles – the sole source of light in the extensive canava – placed around the room create a mystical atmosphere, where the world stands still and leads the mind on a journey to a different time.