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Diving Center

This proposal is a study upon contextualism – an exploration upon a building’s integration in a natural landscape with the minimum footprint – environmental and not only. The diving center “settles” in a place of impressive beauty and cosmic scale with a distinctive and strong character and almost untouched from humans. It comes to complement the location and make it habitable. It is governed at all levels by a "fit to paper" logic. The synthesis is developed in a way that is adapted and adaptable to the location. The overall approach is a constant attempt to create a unique character for the center -a character that would not, however, clash with and oppose the location’s character but would work in synergy with it. An attempt to balance between a simple solution that complements the location and the risk of being simplistic and becoming lost in the landscape. Τhe main element of the complex, is the "mast" –a cylinder with a 2 m diameter and 28 m high. Its concept was based on the “vardiola” –the name of both the Venetian watch-tower closeby and the crow’s nest at the top of the mast in old sailing ships. Thus, the vertical movement with the platforms leading to the sea and the final union with the location by diving into it refers to the form of the mast with its yards. Three buildings – one for each function (diving, dinning, accommodation)- forming a triangle, with the three vertices cut off, create an enclosed plan and an inner yard. An enclosed plan because this is what the location lacks. The center is constructed solely with wood, except the “mast” which is a metal construction. Wood was selected for many reasons, relating to both synthesis and construction. In terms of synthesis, wood –a natural material- works ideally with the natural materials on site and the center naturally integrates into the location. It also serves the intervention's reversibility, one of its basic principles. In terms of construction, wood is considered one of the most environmentally friendly materials -since, it’s renewable and biodegradable, and has negative carbon footprint - with a very long lifespan close to the sea and excellent insulating properties. The “mast” is constructed with metal (possibly aluminum), since it is the most dynamic element of the synthesis; thus, an equally dynamic material was selected and, at the same time, one that is also recyclable.


commercial / hotel / restaurant

building: 300m2
plot: 2000m2

Kefalonia, Greece

Consultant: Vassilis Ganiatsas, Architect NTUA