In the 19th century the Greek economy largely depended on a single commodity, namely black currants, which were sold worldwide and brought the country considerable wealth. Around the turn of the 20thcentury, however, the market for currants repeatedly collapsed owing to oversupply. The Greek government sought to tap alternative markets and promoted wine production. It was around this time that the wine factory Dexamenes came into being. The small industrial plant was built right on Kourouta beach on the west coast of the Peloponnese. As such, it was possible to pump the wine by pipes directly onto the ships.
The site has been largely preserved in the state it was in back in the 1920s. After its closure it fell into a deep sleep, from which the architects at Athens-based K-Studio have now gently awoken it. Together with developer Nikos Karaflos, they have transformed the complex into the Dexamenes Seaside Hotel. The new resort, which currently has only eight guest rooms, derives its charm from the contrast between weathered materials, graceful installations of black-painted steel, and the blue sea.
A concrete wing consisting of former wine tanks forms the core of the hotel complex. The tanks were the ideal size to each house one of the spacious hotel rooms. A floor-level door and window element was installed on the sea-facing side in each room; otherwise, the building structure remained almost untouched. The materials of the minimalist furnishings directly reference the existing building fabric. A steel-and-wood pergola has been built along the full length of the existing structure in front of the rooms, protecting the terraces from the sun. It leads to a new annex – a kind of transparent pavilion that houses reception and the bar. And instead of pumping the wine onto ships, the superior Greek varieties are now served right there, looking out over the marvelous panorama of the Ionian Sea.