The renowned and award-winning hotel complex, which was a turning point in the resort hotel and hospitality consideration, has been part of the OKU HOTELS chain since 2020 with new ownership and new branding.
“OKU is derived from the Japanese concept of “inner space”. At OKU Hotels, guests are invited on a journey to discover their own inner space, into soulful, laidback spaces which have been designed with wellbeing and enrichment in mind. Tranquil design, restorative wellness principals and the best of local food and culture.
The overall concept has been developed by Lambs & Lions, who had the art direction and the interior design. Our studio was invited to develop the architectural and the master plan design, as well as the supervision. According to the concept, the brief was the creation of a hotel with cubic buildings and a reference to the island’s architecture. We studied the local traditional architecture in depth and looked for the values that give it its spatial qualities. We avoided to work on the reproduction of superficial features. We came up with the minimalist design of the complex with the arrangement of the buildings referring in an island urban settlement: narrow streets, unexpected openings-stops, with external stairs and built outdoor seating. The result is a village in harmony with the surrounding bucolic landscape and the pristine beach, where the visitor walks in the paths of a traditional settlement, having the impression that it has always been there.
We proposed the deconstruction of the conventional main building, in four autonomous buildings that are articulated around a square, reproducing the sense of the island square with the human scale.
The ceilings of these four buildings were constructed with a modern variant of the traditional roof coverage of the island houses. The unifying element of the whole complex is the rough plastering, a living technique that is still applied on Leros, a nearby island. We called a craftsman from there, who trained and guided our workers on how to apply this technique.
The materials are simple, local stone in dry stone construction, wood, cement mortars. Lambs & Lions curated the spaces with furniture and objects made of natural materials and selected the planting with pine trees, palm trees, olive trees and aromatic plants, which complete the Mediterranean image of relaxation.
The SPA building dominates the center of the complex, as the restorative wellness treatments, the hammam and the yoga workout are an important part of the principles of internal well-being offered by the hotel.
The restaurant and beach-club complex is spread over the beach area. The idea of the building is abolished, and the functions are placed freely under sheds, leaving view escapes to both sides, the beach and the inner courtyard-pool. The space changes depending on the weather conditions, through a series of successive frames hidden in specially designed niches. On the north side, the wooden terrace overlooking the sand dunes and the beach, provides shelter on hot days.
The concept of OKU Kos is ideal for social distancing holidays, as it consists of various scattered autonomous buildings with privacy. The company is preparing to open the hotel for this season and accepts reservations.”
Mastrominas Architecture has won several international architectural awards for this project. Among them, are the Prix Versailles (partner of UNESCO)- Continental Winner Europe 2018, the German Design Award 2019, the IDA2017 and the BIG SEE 2019.