Facts & Figures
The Transformation of a Midcentury Building in Kifisia-Athens into a New SAY Hotel Experience
The Transformation of a Midcentury Building in Kifisia-Athens into a New SAY Hotel Experience.
In 2019 Yfantis Group invited A&M to design & build a new hotel experience by transforming an existing 1950’s 5-story building into SAY hotel. Located next to Alsos Kefalariou, in a leafy Athens suburb, the hotel’s new architecture is characterized by its rhythmic geometric façade, giving it a strong exterior form, and a contrasting interior of rich, colorful, textured materials used to create a variety of social spaces and guest rooms.
The challenge in redesigning the existing building revolved around keeping solely the structural framing while stripping away the façade in its entirety, something that gave limitless options in creating a new identity suitable for its prestigious location. The new hotel’s strong character is communicated through black and white elements, creating a timeless first impression. The size and orientation of the site gives way to an intentional blend of vertical whitewashed slender louvers contrasted by dark portrait balconies in repetition across the façade, while imitating patterns of their lush surroundings. The façade’s vertical geometry visually lifts the building’s mass, while the transparent ground floor presents an approachable streetfront to outside passerbys. At the same time, a cantilevered canopy cuts through the building’s façade, emphasizing the strategically placed entry parallel to the street’s traffic.
Upon entering SAY hotel, the visitor suddenly engages with a contrasting spatial experience compared to the exterior. The interior design gives special emphasis to the “parallel” social activities of the hotel. All the ground floor spaces host different uses and offer different experiences, including a new brand restaurant, a greenhouse Parisian bistro, as well as a library, used for professional meetings or relaxing in a living room environment during the day.
Moving away from public spaces, a spiral 60’s elegant staircase draws visitors up to the 28 unique guest rooms on the upper floors. Dark corridors convey a sense of mystery, and lead to a series of rooms, divided into 5 different typologies based on material palettes, colors, scale and tailor-made elements. From the bed’s headboard to the open concept wardrobe and the bathroom’s amenities, all rooms feature custom-made furniture, crafted in wood, and detailed in metal brass joineries. A unique approach for all spaces and textures allows different identities to be experienced in each room while even the bathrooms have carefully selected materials such as mosaic and terrazzo.
Crowning this hospitality experience, the building allows for one more hidden gem, a 360-rooftop space with the hotel’s signature wine & cocktail bar, brings its visitors a fully immersive experience and the feeling of freedom is intensified once realizing that you are almost sitting above the trees.
Main goal for the atmosphere of each space is to create memories and different experiences for the visitor using the building. For this purpose, and to develop engaging spaces, an eclectic style contrasted by textures and colors, is leading to harmony and coexistence of different styles, all creating a coherent, beautifully realized space.