Set in the scarred landscape of the South of Serifos, Homa is a small boutique hotel of 180 m2 that takes reference from the area’s mining heritage. “Traces of the mining facilities are scattered throughout the wider area and signify the existence of a second level of habitation”, as Mold Architects describe. Homa taking its name from the Greek “χώµα”, meaning soil, pays homage to its own context. The earthen mineral pigment in the plaster, the built furniture from white polished concrete, the wood, and the natural rocks framing the construction, underline the monolithic nature of a composition that derives from the sculptural processing of the natural soil.
The retreat consists of three independent lodgings, featuring 2 bedrooms and a small living area each, while the outdoor areas include kitchens, living/dining areas and private swimming pools. The room-sized voids resulting from the excavations indicate the entrance into a second, underground network of galleries below the ground level. On the surface, the cobbled paths as well as the network of railway lines of the wagons, create sharp linear cuts that emblematically integrate into the natural landscape. These linear configurations produce broad flat surfaces acting as artificial extensions of the sloping terrain. The acknowledgment of the remnants of those configurations and the intention to revive a housing scenario below the ground surface formed the core idea of the design.
“Taking advantage of the natural curvature of the plot, we designed two angled lines that seamlessly assimilate into the terrain. These lines define two flat platforms, acting as foundations for the lodgings. Positioned with a slight rotation, each lodging ensures privacy and offers ever-changing sea views”, says the team. Approaching the lodgings from the roof, guests are guided by linear staircases that serve as gateways to a “new ground” of habitation, concealed beneath the surface. This concept parallels the adits found in the dark galleries of the mines, which provided the only light source. As guests descend into the depths, patios, stairs, and pools come into view, their formation derived from the subtraction of square and orthogonal volumes from the planes. Flooded with natural light, these carefully crafted spaces create functional and inviting living areas.