The Sand Castle is a small hotel for children located within the Costa Navarino Resort in Messinia, Greece. It is a building inspired by a sand castle that hosts exciting recreational and educational activities. It has been especially designed for children at the ages of 5-7 and 8-12 years, providing various programs according to age. The 925 sqm building is located on a 1800 sqm plot.
The inspiration for the form of the building was the bay of Navarino itself with its never-endings dune. At the Sand Castle a child’s primary gestures while playing with sand, such as sculpting and mixing, are translated into architectural forms.
A spiral ‘sand’ volume that seems to emerge from ground comprises the main part of the building on which the small timber units are attached. These basic structures find reference to archetypical forms of habitat. The lines of the building are not always completely horizontal or vertical, almost like children’s paintings.
Inside, the children’s private areas, designed according t0 their own anthropometric scale, comprise an open neighborhood along a common area of play and creative activities. The boundaries between public and private, interior and exterior become blurred, creating a sense of community and belonging and also allowing for a discreet observation by the staff.
The plaza appears calm an safe like a protective hug. Recreational and educational activities, as well as theatrical stages and points of communication occur inside and outside the building. Through the interplay of spaces, colors and materials, the building acts as a field of experience and exploration. The use of natural and eco-friendly materials, such as wood, sandstone, etc., is preferred for the construction.
Location: Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece
Architect: Polyanna Paraskeva & Associates