Solstice Luxury Suites by Dimitra Rafa Architect

Oia / Santorini / Grèce / 2016

img_2_The complex Solstice Luxury Suites is located in Oia village on the island of Santorini. It consists of small cave like structures and one aboveground studio with courtyards that are designed to follow the natural slope of the landscape.

The outdoor spaces offer relaxation areas that allow an ample view so that the visitor becomes one with the surroundings of this unique landscape. The construction began on January 2016 and ended in June 2016. The architectural practice Dimitra Rafa dealt with the architectural study, the interior design, the design of custom furniture and custom lighting, as well as the construction supervision of all spaces.

The renovation design intents to revitalize the existing shell, highlighting the traditional morphological elements of the Cycladic architecture with a modern architectural language. This dialogue between old and new is encountered with the juxtaposition of traditional materials and techniques such as cement screed with new materials such as ceramic patterned tiles. The screed is mainly white, respecting the island’s characteristic identity and also black in the outdoor spaces, referencing the color of the volcano’s rock formations.

The presence of stone is also a reference to the volcano and can be found on the interiors as a single architectural element or as the main construction material of the retaining walls. On the interior, the aim is to create a unique but flowing atmosphere in each room, which is achieved through the design of custom made elements. Every piece of furniture is either custom made or selected to serve this purpose. A characteristic example are the perforated wooden panels in the shower that allow light to create unique patterns during each time of day.

The same principles are followed in the design of the courtyards, where the custom white wood pergolas are skewed in order the follow the landscape’s contour lines. The pergolas are clad in white wood, canes and blue rope, a clear reference to the Aegean blue sea. The way of living in each room also varies depending on the visitor, as the built-in benches and beds create a free environment. In addition, the complex has a very low environmental footprint due to the use of heat pumps for the operation of the jacuzzis.

The intention is to create an overall experience, where the visitor will feel a familiar relationship with the space based on his own personal interpretation.


Design and construction manager: Dimitra Rafa
Senior architect: Dimitra Rafa
Architect: Matina Galati
Photos: George Ventouris
Marble works: Grigoris Kouskouris

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