This project refers to the gentrification of Hypati, along with the restoration of Xenia Hotel and thermal bath appendices. This subject aims to investigate the suitable restoration techniques of the Modern Movement in Greece.
Hypati is located in verdant scenery near Oiti Mountain, in Central Greece. During the past, it has been a significant touristic resort, but nowadays is inappropriate according to the contemporary demands of medical tourism. The prior spa center of the region was built in 1959, but its capacity is deficient.
Xenia Hotel in Hypati was built in 1958 by Charalampos Sfaellos, through a wide program which aimed to tourist development by the Greek National Tourism Organisation (G.N.T.O.). During the late ‘50s, more than 65 Xenia Hotels were constructed. It is a great sample of the Greek Modern Movement, which involves principles of the “critical regionalism”. In 1969, an extension was built at the western wing. This action unbalances the harmony of synthesis. The operation of Xenia Hotel stops after 2011. Since then, it remains in the property of the Public Properties Company and it is being degraded constantly.
Our interventions conclude three different axes. As for Xenia Hotel, we propose the partial demolition of 1969’s extension and the construction of a brand new part connected to the historic building. The design of our new extension is distinguishable from the existing part and doesn’t imitate it. The roof is now actuated, as we design revocable, wooden structures placed in order to preserve the synthetic harmony of the existing facades. Smaller interventions, such as the reinstatement of the restaurant’s prior design, material replacement where necessary and reallocation of the interior uses, are also being made.
Furthermore, in close proximity to Xenia, we create an underground thermal bath centre. Its only footprint on the landscape is three rectangular atriums. The new building has been designed according to the contemporary standards for spa centers. It contains interior and exterior thermal pools with manifold user capacity.
Our gentrification concludes the study and design of the surrounding area with discrete interventions.
This approach proves to be a brave gesture, which respects the historic building and its environment. At the same time, it creates the conditions for a sustainable utilization of the majority of Xenia Hotels.