Greek Architecture Goes Vegan in Santorini


Greek architectural studio Kapsimalis Atchitects have renovated and transformed a Santorini home into a small boutique hotel in Fira, using entirely vegan recyclable and locally sourced materials, fittings and furniture.

Ethos Vegan Suites occupies a typical, 20th-century house in the Santorini capital. The hotel occupies five suites and was designed around an "eco-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan approach concept.” It also has a reception room and kitchen, serving vegan food to guests.

Co-founder Marianna Kapsimali of Kapsimalis Architects adds: "We aimed to incorporate the use, characteristics and principles of vegan hospitality throughout the hotel. The core concept of the design was to utilise and improvise the existing building's structure in the dense village of Fira, which had undergone multiple changes and additions through time.”

"As the building belongs to the traditional village of Fira, while parts of the area have been altered during the last few decades, we wanted to improvise the initial geometries and to create a plain form, integrated into the original cubistic structure of the village.”

As part of the reconstruction, the building's appearance was stripped for a simplistic look that aligns with the cubist architecture in Fira. Parapets, cornices and walls were all removed from the structure to create the clean lines used in Greek architecture.

Kapsimalis Architects also focused on biophilic design, using earth tones and natural materials, and adding water features and plants to the space. Interior walls were lined with hemp, sand and cobs, while the building was furnished with ceramics, oak wood and linen.

The owners chose the building for its structural integrity, suitable layout and the typical characteristics found in the island's architecture following the 1956 Amorgos earthquake.

A range of ceramic claustra was used to build perforated walls that allow natural light to spread across the hotel, as well as create semi-private areas.

Two of the five suites are located on the ground floor, while the remaining three are on the first. All rooms have access to a pool, with one located on the ground floor and one located on the first-floor terrace, also used to grow herbs and vegetables, served in vegan meals for guests, with a sea view over the east of the island.

"We achieved a biophilic, bioclimatic and sustainable space by using a contemporary and energy-efficient building, insulation materials and technology that reduces energy consumption,” adds Kapsimali. "We also used natural and recyclable materials, plants and greenery, the addition of water features, and the assurance of natural light and fresh air."



Photography credit - Yiorgos Kordakis

By Sophie Chapman

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