Barbouni Restaurant. Navarino Dunes, Messinia, Greece, by K-studio.

I am always thrilled to realize that I have visited an architectural gem, before this gets super-advertised either for its architectural beauty or for its services. One of these places is The Barbouni Restaurant of Costa Navarino Hotel in Messinia (Southwest of Peloponnese, in Greece.)

The first impression is exactly what its architectural concept says: A restaurant that extends through every aspect of its design, from the food to the flooring, to create a unique and holistic experience that submerges and engages telling its story in every detail.

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Every element of the project telling a common story and coming together to create an inspirational yet laid-back atmosphere, perfectly suited to the site.

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The restaurant sits on a wooden platform elevated from the sand allowing the waves to break underneath it. The structure of the building is formed by a grid of natural wooden columns; amongst them, like a sand castle, an L shaped volume rendered in sand, sits among the “forest” of tree trunks to house all the facility areas, such as kitchen, restrooms and storage.

Over the table area an inverted field of hanging fabric sheets forms the canopy that sways soothingly in the dissipated wind, allowing air to circulate and the space to stay cool. Throughout the day dappled sunlight filters through the sheets, lighting and shading the space simultaneously. The animated ceiling resembles the waves on the beach and offers a rhythm to the restaurant, just like breathing.

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The combination of these purposely designed and naturally occurring elements creates a multi-sensory architecture that sits in harmony with the environment, provides a natural, comfortable refuge from the elements and creates an exciting, sociable atmosphere.

Photos: K-studio.

Source: K-studio architects, Archello.

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