The object of the competition is the design of a new bath complex in Lesvos neighboring the historical Sarlitza Palace. The complex includes the preservation of existing buildings next to the hotel as well as the protection and exhibition of the adjacent ancient ruins.
The project focuses on the connection between body and spirit through the experience of water and history. The past is experienced through the evocation of sensorial experiences integrated into the site such as the bathing experience in nature. The contextual importance of water is evident in the site’s ancient ruins pertaining to bathing sites from different historical periods. During ancient times, the worship of the goddess Artemis around the island underlines the historical relationship between nature and culture. We apply this conceptual double of culture and nature in programmatic and spatial terms throughout the project. The complex is conceived as the Garden while the new bath’s building functions as the Grotto. The garden forms a perimeter around the complex while the ancient ruins in the middle are left as a void. Hence, the historical depth is analyzed and experienced in different ways; the ancient ruins are visually experienced while the bathing experience pertains to the haptic senses of the body.
The masterplan is organized around a circular movement connecting the different points of the program; from the entrance passing through the hotel and back. This movement creates a frame around the ancient ruins, the existing and the new buildings. The central void allows for unobstructed vision through the ancient finds to the new buildings. The baths are formed as a linear grotto. The grotto is formed as a solid rock, framing its interior through a linear cut at its base.