More stories

  • in

    SODA offers model for office-to-residential conversions with Roco in Liverpool

    London studio SODA has converted a 1970s office block in Liverpool city centre into a residential building that  includes co-working and wellness facilities.

    The adaptive reuse project sees the 10-storey block, which spent decades as an office for HM Revenue and Customs, transformed into rental homes managed by operator Livingway.
    Communal spaces take up most of the ground floorRoca contains 120 one- and two-bedroom apartments, plus two floors of co-living-style amenities for residents. These include workspaces, a large kitchen, cinema room, gym and treatment rooms and a planted roof terrace.
    Russell Potter, co-founding director at SODA, believes the project can serve as a model for office-to-residential conversions in city-centre locations.
    The design includes mix of flexible lounge and workspaces”The leaps that office design has made over the past decade or two have meant that certain period properties from the 1960s and 70s are perhaps not the most desirable from a commercial point of view,” he told Dezeen.

    “But if they occupy prime city-centre locations, they can offer amazing opportunities to adapt and re-use, to reinvigorate city centres with genuinely flexible and crafted spaces.”
    A timber “activity wall” provides surfaces, seating and storageLivingway’s model is a version of co-living. By offering Roca residents access to communal spaces, in addition to their apartments, it aims to foster a sense of community.
    Many of these shared spaces can be found on the ground floor. Here, various work, lounge and dining spaces are organised around a timber “activity wall” that provides surfaces, storage and seating.
    A communal kitchen is often used for cooking classes and demonstrationsOther interior details, such as folding screens, curtains and fluted glass windows, allow the space to be casually divided into different activity zones when required.
    Sometimes these spaces host workshops or classes, allowing residents to engage with local businesses.

    Chai Guys Portobello cafe interior evokes “the colour of spices”

    “We’re introducing an element of communal activity to act as a hub at ground floor, in a similar fashion to what’s been happening in other co-living arrangements,” said Potter.
    “It means you have the opportunity to create a genuine sense of community within a city centre.”
    The building was previously an office blockOn the apartment floors, the existing floorplates made it possible to create larger homes than typical co-living units, arranged on opposite sides of a central corridor.
    Apartments come fully furnished, with bedrooms and bathrooms separate from the living areas.
    The renovation provides 120 apartments in total”Office buildings typically have slim floor plates with decent floor spans and high proportions of glazing-to-floor area, so make ideal opportunities for residential conversion,” Potter explained.
    “Likewise, floor-to-ceiling heights don’t tend to pose an issue for residential,” he added. “Typically, commercial floor heights are higher than what you expect in residential, meaning that you get better aspects of light into the spaces.”
    The apartments are larger than is typical for co-livingLivingway offers five of these units as hotel rooms, available for short stay. But guests don’t have access to all of the communal facilities; most are reserved for residents.
    Technology plays an important role in the building management. An app allows residents to book certain rooms or sign up for workshops and classes, while digital locks allow access to be controlled.
    The communal spaces feature colours and patterns that reference the 1970sThe interior design approach reflects the building’s 1970s heritage, with furniture and finishes that don’t shy away from colour and pattern.
    Standout spaces include the cinema room, an all-red space featuring large upholstered chairs, tubular wall lights and art-deco-style mouldings.
    Across the rest of the ground floor, the exposed concrete waffle-slab overhead brings an industrial feel that contrasts with the warmth of the wood surfaces and soft furnishings.
    Standout spaces include a cinema screening roomThe homes feature a more subtle palette, with muted tones rather than white, to allow residents to bring their own personalities into the design.
    A similar level of care was brought to the outdoor spaces. These include an informal courtyard on the ground floor and the seventh-floor roof terrace, which incorporates a trio of hot tubs.
    A planted roof terrace includes three hot tubsThe project builds on SODA’s experience of designing shared spaces. The studio has designed various spaces for workplace provider The Office Group (TOG), including Liberty House and Thomas House.
    The collaboration with Livingway came about after the company reached out to the studio via Instagram.
    “It is amazing to see what a beautiful result has been produced and how much our residents truly enjoy calling Roco their home,” added Samantha Hay, CEO for Livingway.
    The photography is by Richard Chivers.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Tigg + Coll Architects moves studio into converted Victorian mission church

    Tigg + Coll Architects has converted part of an abandoned mission church in west London into a flexible studio, with the rest of the building set to be turned into homes.

    The studio, led by architects David Tigg and Rachel Coll, has completed the first phase of a redevelopment project that will see all of the Victorian church building in Brook Green brought back into use.
    The Victorian building was previously a mission churchTaking up a third of the building volume, the two-storey Addison Studios features a first-floor workspace for the Tigg + Coll team and a ground-floor space that can be used for meetings or events.
    This ground floor has a flexible layout that can function as a single space or separate zones. It includes a kitchen with an island counter, a materials library on wheels, meeting tables and pin-up areas.
    A first-floor workspace features a restored rose window”We wanted to find a permanent home for our studio that could showcase our ethos and skill sets,” Tigg told Dezeen.

    “When we heard on the grapevine that this local landmark was up for sale and looking for someone to come in and bring it back to life, we were smitten.”
    Original steel trusses are now highlighted in turquoiseLocated in a residential area, the building is believed to be 125 years old. It had been adapted many times, with numerous extensions added, and had fallen into disrepair.
    “It had great bones but sadly had been slowly left to deteriorate, with ramshackle extensions and other alterations that took away from the simple and robust beauty of the existing building,” said Tigg.
    The ground floor is a flexible meeting and events spaceTigg + Coll’s approach was to strip the building back to its original structure and find clever ways of highlighting its history and architectural features.
    Glazing was replaced including a previously concealed rose window that is now the focal point of the building’s gabled end wall.
    It includes a kitchen with a terrazzo island counterBrickwork walls were exposed but only repaired where necessary, while decorative steel trusses were uncovered and painted turquoise to stand out against the white-washed timber ceiling boards.
    “We wanted to allow the reality of the existing building and its materiality to be central to the final finish,” said Tigg.

    Ten architecture studios that designed their own office buildings

    “The principle was to pair it back and make the accents very clear,” he continued. “Nothing was to be covered up if we could help it.”
    “Any existing features not being restored were either relocated to replace damaged or missing elements or left in place and infilled to create a visible collage or quasi memorial of the building’s history.”
    The new mezzanine is built from glulam timber, blockwork and steelA new mezzanine was installed to provide the first-floor workspace with an exposed structure formed of blockwork, glulam timber joists and steel I-beams coloured in a slightly paler shade of turquoise to the trusses above.
    The floor is set back from the windows, creating a clear divide between old and new while new skylights increase the overall level of daylight that enters.
    The first floor is set back from the windowsSeveral new materials are introduced on the ground floor. The pin-up wall is formed of cork, while the kitchen counter is a custom terrazzo made using some of the site’s demolition waste.
    This space allows the Tigg + Coll team to come together for group lunches, presentations or collaborative work. It also provides opportunities for both video calls and formal meetings and could be used for events.
    A cork wall provides a pin-up space”We wanted a calm office that was uplifting, inspirational and unlike a typical work environment,” said Tigg.
    “You can spend time conscientiously working on the mezzanine and then get away from the screen time with a break downstairs. It really helps with mental balance throughout the day.”
    The design aims to celebrate the building’s historyTigg and Coll founded their studio in 2008. They specialise in residential projects, across private homes, housing developments, student living and co-living.
    Past projects include House for Theo + Oskar, designed to support the needs of two children with a rare muscular disorder, and Chapter Living King’s Cross, an innovative student housing project.
    The rest of the building is set to be converted to residentialNow that they have moved into Addison Studios, the architects are set to move forward with the rest of the conversion.
    “We are in an age where it is more important than ever to showcase how the principle of retrofit can not only be a pragmatic and cost-effective choice, but also create immensely warm, characterful and beautiful spaces for working, living and just generally enjoying,” Tigg concluded.

    Read more: More

  • in

    AHMM to transform office into co-living space next to London’s Barbican estate

    Developer HUB and investor Bridges Fund Management have revealed plans to convert a 1950s office building in London into Cornerstone, a co-living residential scheme designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

    Located on the edge of the Barbican estate, the Cornerstone project will draw from the iconic Barbican architecture to transform 45 Beech Street into 174 co-living residences along with street-level commercial spaces and amenities.
    “Building on the success of our previous London projects with HUB, we are joining forces again to transform an underloved office building in the heart of the city,” Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) director Hazel Joseph said.
    AHMM has revealed plans for a co-living retrofit next to London’s Barbican estateAHMM’s proposal aims to re-use as much of the building’s existing structure and facade as possible, taking a “retrofit-first approach” to minimise the need for new building works.
    The studio will also primarily work within the geometric parameters defined by the original envelope, while updating the rectilinear language to create uniform apertures for each co-living apartment.

    Referencing the Barbican estate, a series of arched, double-height extrusions will be introduced across the crown of the building to house additional co-living apartments.
    The design will adapt the existing building’s form and insert a series of arched spaces at the top”The architectural approach has been carefully considered, responding sensitively to the much-loved Barbican context, completing the northern frontage of the estate,” Joseph said.
    The arches will be partially set back from the building’s facade and lined with an asymmetric patchwork of glazed and tile panels underneath the curved overhangs.

    Plans for Barbican concert hall by Diller Scofidio & Renfro axed

    At street level, warm red panel accents will contrast against the building’s neutral concrete finishes to highlight commercial and collective functions.
    The scheme will integrate a public cafe, a co-working space and community-focused amenities at its lower levels to improve the public realm for those who live and work in the area.
    “The existing structure of 45 Beech Street will be re-used and extended, creating a new residential community with shared amenities and breathing new life into the local streetscape,” Joseph explained.
    At street level, new commercial and public amenities will seek to activate the ground planeAccording to HUB and Bridges Fund Management, AHMM’s proposal was developed in collaboration with the community – including Barbican residents – who were consulted through a series of workshops and events.
    A website was also established to solicit viewpoints about the redevelopment, reiterating the design vision to establish a “vibrant community” that will adapt the original building and holistically contribute to the neighbourhood.
    AHMM was established in 1989 by Simon Allford, Jonathan Hall, Paul Monaghan and Peter Morris in London. The studio has previously converted a 1930s block into New Scotland Yard’s headquarters in London and completed a mixed-use building in Southwark with interlocking flats.
    Also adjacent to the Barbican estate, Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s proposal for a pyramidal music centre was recently scrapped when the City of London Corporation revealed its plans for a “major renewal” of the Barbican.
    The images are courtesy of HUB and Bridges Fund Management.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Archiloop converts 12th-century Italian monastery into hotel Vocabolo Moscatelli

    A 12th-century monastery in Italy’s Umbria region has become a boutique hotel in the hands of Florence studio Archiloop, which aimed to retain the site’s “rustic simplicity” during its renovation.

    Vocabolo Moscatelli sits in the countryside near the hamlet of Calzolaro, close to the Tuscan border, on a remote estate surrounded by woodland.
    Vocabolo Moscatelli occupies a converted monastery in UmbriaThe property was discovered by chef concierge Frederik Kubierschky and his partner Catharina Lütjens, who set about restoring the various 800-year-old stone buildings with the help of architect Jacopo Venerosi Pesciolini of Archiloop.
    Aiming to retain the historic charm and as much of the original features as possible, the team kept the original wooden floors, exposed terracotta brickwork and ceiling beams, alongside brass, iron and stone details.
    The original brick and stone buildings were restored by ArchiloopThey worked with local craftspeople on the restoration of these elements and incorporated new pieces by artists and designers from across the region, too.

    “Vocabolo Moscatelli brings together the stone mason, blacksmith and woodworker with the artisan makers: ceramicists, tile makers and painters, creating a boutique style canvas that plays homage to the past while bringing in the design references of the now,” said the hotel team.
    Timber ceiling beams are left exposed throughout the hotelNew additions to the site include a travertine swimming pool, coloured to match the surrounding woodland and Mediterranean landscaping by Fabiano Crociani.
    “Threaded smoothly together, the effect is a template of rustic simplicity with heart,” the team said.
    Each of the property’s 12 guest suites is unique and includes a custom bed frameVocabolo Moscatelli offers 12 spacious guest suites: eight in the main building and four more dotted around the landscaped grounds, all with a “monastic chic” style.

    Bolza family turns 1,000-year-old Italian castle into Hotel Castello di Reschio

    Each includes a unique colour palette and collection of design pieces, like a sculptural black two-person bathtub on one of the terraces and the various handmade beds.
    The Bridal Suite includes a round canopy bed and a private garden, while the Spa Suite has its own sauna and jacuzzi.
    Some of the suites have sculptural al fresco bathtubsFurniture and products were sourced from Italian brands, such as outdoor furniture by Paola Lenti and lighting from Davide Groppi and Flos.
    Handmade glazed tiles by local Umbrian company Cotto Etrusco adorn the bathrooms, contrasting the rough stonework of the building’s thick walls.
    New additions to the estate include a travertine swimming poolMany historic buildings across Umbria have been converted into guest accommodations, from remote holiday homes like the Torre di Moravola watchtower to sprawling rural estates like Castello di Reschio.
    Several monasteries in Italy have also found new life as hotels, including the Monastero Arx Vivendi near Lake Garda.
    The photography is by Fabio Semeraro.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Isabelle Heilmann converts Parisian textile workshop into loft apartment

    Interior designer Isabelle Heilmann has used glazing and level changes to turn a former textile workshop in Paris into an open-plan apartment with a dedicated home office.

    The owners of the property on Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud asked Heilmann’s studio Epicène to rationalise the interior and create a space for home working while maintaining the apartment’s quirky layout.
    Isabelle Heilmann has completed the Timbaud apartmentThe existing loft featured several impractical and dilapidated spaces including a cramped bedroom and three mezzanines with low ceilings that were once used for storing rolls of fabric.
    Heilmann removed some of the existing structures and introduced changes in floor height to delineate the new spaces while adding internal windows that retain a visual connection between the rooms.
    A raised platform houses the home office”Using differences in level and glass partitions allows you to demarcate the different living spaces while allowing light to circulate,” the designer told Dezeen.

    “Now, from the moment you enter, you have a global vision of the volume of the apartment,” she added. “It’s a way to have a very open plan without the disadvantages of the loft.”
    A bright green door in the dining space conceals a WCThe partitions enclosing the existing bedroom were removed and a platform built in their place now contains a home office housing two workstations and a wall of library shelving.
    Two of the mezzanines were also demolished, leaving just one beside the entrance that was transformed into a room for gaming and accommodating overnight guests.
    Throughout the interior, Heilmann sought to preserve the spirit of the old workshop that had attracted the owners to this space. The raised platform recalls the height changes of the old mezzanines, while geometric sculptural elements evoke the original layout.
    The kitchen and living room are separated by a glass partition”The partitions and interlocking shapes of the old workshop have been simplified, but we find this play of asymmetrical cubes in the shape of the headboard or the glass partition between bedroom and living room,” she explained.
    “The industrial spirit is also suggested in the choice of lighting fixtures or the sobriety of the bathroom tiling.”
    Examples of the recurring geometric motif include a series of cubic volumes containing cupboards and storage niches on either side of the steps leading up to the platform.

    Uchronia conceives Haussmann-era Paris apartment as “chromatic jewellery box”

    An asymmetric window creates a bold feature that connects the living room with the new bedroom, where a stepped headboard creates shelf space for books, paintings and objects.
    The kitchen is located opposite the office platform and features a simple L-shaped layout that slots in underneath the mezzanine and windows.
    A swing in the living room capitalises on the apartment’s tall ceilingsThe cupboard units have birch plywood doors and a marbled Corian worktop that complements the minimal, industrial look of the interior.
    A full-height glass-and-steel wall that was part of the original workshop was carefully preserved and now separates the living room on one side from the kitchen and dining area on the other.
    A door in the central glass partition leads into the living area, where a swing suspended from the ceiling makes the most of the room’s height.
    The owners wanted a blank canvas for showcasing their collection of vintage objects, so walls and floors throughout the apartment are painted white to provide a muted, minimal backdrop.
    A green bedspread catches the eye in the bedroomThe scheme also aims to create a playful, relaxed and creative atmosphere evocative of 1960s modernism, with classic pieces such as Achille Castiglioni’s Snoopy lamp and an Enzo Mari print providing pops of colour.
    In the bedroom, a yellow-painted door and green bedspread catch the eye, while a bright green door in the dining space conceals a WC with a sink set against punchy pink cement tiles.
    The bedroom features a large dressing area with cupboards made from birch plywood, which is housed in a space previously occupied by a bathroom.
    Curved tiles by Pop Corn clad the sinkThe main bathroom offers a playful take on the geometric theme used elsewhere in the apartment, with its geometric sink clad in rounded tiles from French firm Pop Corn.
    Isabelle Heilmann studied at the École Boulle in Paris before founding her agency Epicène in 2018. The studio designs public and residential spaces that combine a minimalistic sensibility with a love of colour and characterful statement pieces.
    Other Parisian home interiors that have recently been featured on Dezeen include an apartment with a wine-red kitchen and another that was designed to resemble a “chromatic jewellery box”.
    The photography is by BCDF studio.

    Read more: More

  • in

    The Rebello Hotel occupies former factory along Porto’s riverside

    This hotel by architecture studio Metro Urbe occupies a series of former industrial buildings on the banks of the River Douro in Porto, Portugal, and features interiors by Quiet Studios.

    The Rebello Hotel is spread across several 19th-century buildings, which have been overhauled and adapted with new additions by Metro Urbe, in Vila Nova de Gaia – across the river from the city proper.
    At The Rebello Hotel, nods to the site’s industrial past and Porto’s nautical history can be found in artworks and decor choicesOperated by Bomporto Hotels, which has two properties in Lisbon, the new addition to its portfolio was designed with a local approach and to take full advantage of its prime riverside location.
    The Rebello is named after Porto’s famous rabelos – wooden boats that used to transport barrels of port wine down the river – and located beside the city’s only remaining boatyard.
    The lobby bar and cafe was designed for digital nomads to work and relaxThe collection of buildings was once a kitchen utensil factory and had been unoccupied for some time before work began to reconfigure the site.

    The team restored two long buildings that face onto the river, preserving their historic stone facades, and constructed two new volumes in the centre of the site that incorporate smaller original structures and resolve the sloping topography.
    A variety of soft seating options enliven the industrial-style interiors of the hotel’s communal spacesPresented with a blank canvas, Spanish interior designer Daniela Franceschini – founder of Lisbon-based Quiet Studios – worked with local artists and creatives to transform the industrial spaces into warm and comfortable guest facilities.
    Using vintage and contemporary objects, she based the interiors around four key elements: water, wine, wood and industry.
    Bedrooms are bright and neutral, with splashes of colour introduced through contemporary furniture”There’s a nautical feel to the colours, materials and textures,” said Franceschini. “That also comes through in the lighting, which is suggestive of floating and sailboats, and in the lamps with chains, the wooden shelves by Tomaz Viana, the ceramic nets by Fig Studio and the undulating mirrors that evoke the movement of the sea.”
    Above the retro-style reception counter, fronted by a metal lattice, is an artwork crafted using reclaimed materials from the rabelos, which was designed by Studio Ther in collaboration with a local artisan.
    Guest room types vary from studios to three-bedroom penthouse apartmentsThe lobby lounge and bar was designed for digital nomads to work or relax on a variety of comfortable soft seats, within a bright space that features polished concrete floors and exposed ceiling ductwork.
    As a nod to the site’s history, the ground-floor Pot&Pan restaurant serves family-style dishes in large pots and pans within a space decorated with dark-toned walls and plants to create a casual atmosphere.

    Álvaro Siza designs tiled mural for Space Copenhagen’s Porto restaurant interior

    There’s also a cafe and store selling local produce and crafts, and meeting rooms that can be hired separately or combined for private events.
    The Rebello Hotel’s 103 guest rooms and apartments are split into 11 different types, ranging from studios to three-bedroom penthouses that span 37 to 195 square metres.
    The hotel’s spa is modelled on ancient Roman bathsThe interiors of its light-filled suites have been decorated with walnut, steel, concrete and tiles, along with contemporary furniture that introduces splashes of bright colour to the otherwise neutral palette.
    The bedrooms also include “tailor-made pieces influenced by nautical and industrial design, such as the sinks inspired by old water tanks and the organically styled bed headboards that resemble the rippling waters of the Douro”, according to the design team.
    The fourth-floor rooftop bar offers views across the Douro River to the Porto skylineThe Rebello Hotel guests can enjoy a spa, modelled on ancient Roman baths and encompassing a heated pool, sauna, fitness centre and treatment rooms.
    Finally, the Rooftop Bello bar on the fourth floor offers a spot for al fresco cocktails overlooking the river, with a view of the city’s terracotta-tiled skyline beyond.
    The riverside site, a former kitchen utensil factory, was converted and extended by architects Metro UrbeOther interior design projects in Porto include a rustic restaurant interior designed by Space Copenhagen, which features a ceramic mural by Álvaro Siza, and a sushi bar by Paulo Merlini where 8,000 wooden chopsticks hang above diners.
    The photography is by Francisco Nogueira.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Soba restaurant Kawamichiya takes over century-old townhouse in Kyoto

    Japanese studios Td-Atelier and Endo Shorijo Design have transformed a townhouse in Kyoto into a noodle restaurant that combines traditional residential details with modern geometric interventions.

    Kawamichiya Kosho-An is an outpost of soba restaurant Kawamichiya, which can trace its history of creating dishes using buckwheat noodles back more than 300 years.
    Diners enter Kawamichiya Kosho-An via a small gardenIt occupies a 110-year-old property in the downtown Nakagyo Ward that retained several features typical of traditional Japanese houses, including a lattice-screened facade and an alcove known as a tokonoma.
    Architect Masaharu Tada and designer Shorijo Endo collaborated on the townhouse’s conversion into a 143-square-metre restaurant, restoring some of the original elements while adapting others to suit its new purpose.
    Changes in floor height delineate different dining areas”Originally it looked like a townhouse with an elaborate design, but various modifications were made for living and those designs were hidden or destroyed,” said Tada.

    “Therefore, we tried to restore the elements of the townhouse such as hidden or lost design windows and alcoves and add new geometry to them to revive them as a new store.”
    Guests can sit on floor cushions in the traditional Japanese parlourA lattice screen at the front of the building was restored to help preserve its residential aesthetic, while renovations were carried out on walls, pillars and eaves within the open-air entrance passage.
    The entryway leads to a small genkan-niwa garden, where paving stones are laid to create a path using a traditional technique known as shiki-ishi.

    2m26 references traditional food carts for mobile all-in-one ramen restaurant

    Customers enter Kawamichiya Kosho-An through a small retail area containing freestanding partitions that allow the original wooden ceiling structure to remain visible.
    Built-in bench seating is positioned along one wall and a window seat offers a view of the street outside. Customers here can eat with their shoes on, while beyond this space they are required to remove footwear as is customary when entering a Japanese house.
    Many of the building’s traditional lattice screens were retainedThe use of different materials and changes in floor height help to delineate areas within the restaurant and create a range of experiences. Guests can choose to sit on chairs in a porch-like space known as a doma or on floor cushions in the traditional Japanese parlour.
    The kitchen is positioned at the centre of the building and is set slightly lower than the surrounding floors, allowing staff working behind the counter to have a clear view of each diner.
    “We control the line of sight to the audience, the garden and the street by the height of each floor,” Tada said. “As a result, it is an original townhouse element […] and a new design that fuses old and new.”
    One of the upstairs rooms features a curved funazoko-tenjo ceilingSome of the existing features that help to preserve the building’s character include the tokonoma alcove in a room on the first floor, which also has a curved wooden ceiling known as a funazoko-tenjo.
    In Kawamichiya Kosho-An’s main dining area, a tokonoma was replaced with a low decorative shelf while the original screened window in this space was retained. Traditional wooden doors and paper shoji screens were also adapted and used to partition the space.
    The restaurant is set in a converted townhouse in KyotoTada studied at Osaka University before founding his studio in 2006. He has collaborated on several projects with Endo, who completed a master’s in plastic engineering at the Kyoto Institute of Technology before establishing his studio in 2009.
    The pair’s previous work includes the renovation of a typical machiya townhouse in Kyoto, which they modernised to better suit the living requirements of its occupants.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Historic sanatorium in Greek mountain forest transformed into Manna hotel

    Greek architecture offices K-Studio and Monogon have converted the abandoned Manna Sanatorium in Arcadia, southern Greece, into a luxury forest hotel.

    Originally built in the 1920s to give tuberculosis patients access to the healing power of nature, the historic structure is now a five-star wellness retreat.
    Manna offers 32 rooms fitted out with natural materials and neutral tones, plus gym and spa facilities and a restaurant focused on local produce.
    Manna hotel is housed in a former sanatorium for tuberculosis patientsThe building sits within a fir forest on Mount Mainalo, the tallest peak in the mountainous region.
    The design vision set out by Athens-based K-Studio was to amplify the sense of sanctuary offered by the remote location and enhance the feeling of connection to nature.

    Manna owner Stratis Batayas, a Greek entrepreneur who had spent his childhood summers in the area, wanted to create a year-round destination that stayed true to the building’s history.
    The building is set in a fir forest in Arcadia, a mountainous region of Greece”The client’s ambition was to reinterpret the concept of a sanctuary in the mountains with contemporary terms,” reads K-Studio’s design statement.
    “The hotel would have to be a place for isolation, as well as community-making and participation in the primary activities of everyday living.”
    Design details include columns with curved corner reveals and ornate gridded ceilingsThe renovation was overseen in collaboration with Athens-based Monogon and involved significant building work, including the reconstruction of a derelict rear wing and the installation of a new roof.
    When the sanatorium closed – made obsolete following the introduction of penicillin in 1938 – the building had been emptied to prevent looting. Stone window sills were stripped out and relocated, while the original roof was removed and repurposed on a hospital in nearby Tripoli.
    Concrete was used to replace the old sills, while the new timber roof was installed over rendered brickwork.
    The bar features neatly crafted joineryA reconfigured layout provides a new entrance on the side of the building.
    This leads through into a series of elegant reception and lounge spaces where details include columns with curved corner reveals, ornate gridded ceilings and a herringbone-patterned fireplace.

    K-studio’s Perianth Hotel infuses neo-modernism into Athens

    Manna’s bar can also be found here, featuring neatly crafted joinery. Elsewhere, the restaurant run by chef Athinagoras Kostakos has a more casual feel thanks to an open kitchen.
    Art is present throughout, with works by Greek artist Nikos Kanoglou, painter Joanna Burtenshaw and ceramicist Diane Alexandre.
    Attic bedrooms feature dormer balconiesBedrooms are located on the upper floors of the main building, including a new attic level, and on all levels of the rebuilt northern wing.
    Attic rooms offer the most modern feel, extending out to balconies set within large gable-ended dormers.
    Interiors feature natural materials and neutral tonesThe materials palette combines brushed timber with earth-toned textiles. Standout features include the elaborate privacy screens that form a backdrop to the beds.
    Terrazzo flooring is inlaid with marble to define different zones, matching the stone used for wash basins. Room numbers are carved into the floor surfaces in front of each room entrance.
    “Local craftsmen were involved in all construction phases, as they bear the knowhow of stoneworks, joinery and even the characteristic engraved grouting of the exterior stonewalls,” said K-Studio.
    Terrazzo flooring is inlaid with marble to define zonesManna opened its doors in the summer of 2023 and is represented by Design Hotels, a booking company that specialises in design-led retreats.
    K-Studio co-founder Dimitris Karampataki presented the project at the 2023 edition of The Lobby, an annual hospitality conference in Copenhagen.
    Manna’s restaurant features an open kitchenHe said the design for Manna “embraces the wear and tear, embraces the natural patina”.
    “When we first arrived we saw something, which took about a century to make,” he said. “We didn’t want to clean it too much, to be selective of its heritage. It was more important for us to embrace the whole story.”
    The design aims to reconnect people with natureOther destination hotels to open recently include the Six Senses Rome, designed by Patricia Urquiola, and the Sanya Wellness Retreat in Hainan, China, designed by Neri&Hu.
    The photography is by Ana Santl.
    Project credits
    Architectural concept: K-StudioTechnical design: Monogon, CS ArchitectureOn-site supervison: Monogon, K-StudioFF&E: K-Studio, MonogonArt curation: Joanna BurtenshawBranding design: MNPSurveyor: Ioannis CharbilasStructural engineer: Niki PsillaMechanical engineer: Gerasimos Vasilatos/Alexandra Zachopoulou & PartnersLighting design: Eleftheria Deko and Associates Lighting DesignSound consultant: Alpha AcoustikiKitchen consultant: XenexLandscape architects: H Pangalou & AssociatesMain contractor: CT Construction

    Read more: More