MOLD architects embeds ‘homa vagia’ retreat into the island landscape of serifos
mold architects shapes the coast of serifos
A unique coastal hotel dubbed Homa Vagia has taken shape along the cliffs of Serifos Island with design by Athens-based studio MOLD Architects. The project stands as a captivating union of history and contemporary design. Nestled along the island’s southern edge and recognized at once by its flat, perforated rooftop, Homa Vagia nearly seamlessly blends into its unique surroundings to suggest a continuation of the rocky landscape and the horizon beyond.
Situated amidst the remnants of a bygone mining era, MOLD Architects’ Homa Vagia pays homage to its context. The scarred landscape along the southern shore of Serifos Island is adorned with traces of mining facilities. The landscape tells the tale of a vibrant ‘second level of habitation.’ The newly completed project introduces the underground network of galleries, accessible through room-sized voids, which serve as a constant reminder of the area’s rich subsoil and cultural heritage. By acknowledging and embracing these remnants, the architects embarked on a mission to revive a housing scenario below the ground surface, forming the core idea of the design.
Integrating Linear Configurations
Drawing inspiration from the cobbled paths and railway lines that cut sharply through the natural landscape, MOLD Architects conceived its Homa Vagia beginning with two angled lines that seamlessly assimilate into the terrain. These lines define two flat platforms, acting as foundations for the lodgings. Positioned with a slight rotation, each lodging ensures privacy and offers ever-changing sea views. The intentional design creates a dialogue between architecture and nature, harmonizing with the natural curvature of the plot.
Journey to a ‘New Ground’
Approaching the lodgings from the roof, visitors are guided by linear staircases that serve as gateways to a “new ground” of habitation, concealed beneath the surface. This concept draws parallels to the adits found in the dark galleries of the mines, which provided the only source of light. As visitors descend into the depths, patios, stairs, and pools come into view, their formation derived from the subtraction of square and orthogonal volumes from the planes. These carefully crafted spaces, flooded with natural light, create functional and inviting living areas.
the monolithic expression of homa vagia
Homa, derived from the Greek word for soil, pays homage to the project’s elemental connection with the earth. The architecture embraces a monolithic nature, accentuated by the materials employed. The earthen mineral pigment in the plaster, the built furniture crafted from white polished concrete, and the natural rocks framing the construction exemplify the sculptural processing of the natural soil. These choices bring forth a sense of harmony and unity, showcasing the inherent beauty of the project’s composition.
Homa Vagia showcases an architectural fusion of history and contemporary design. Rooted in the scarred landscape of the South of Serifos, the project thoughtfully integrates linear configurations, pays homage to the area’s mining heritage, and provides a serene and harmonious living experience. Homa Vagia stands as a testament to the transformative power of architecture, demonstrating how the careful consideration of context and a deep appreciation for the past can result in a truly remarkable and captivating space.