Architect Vasilis Papadias talks about his own favorite buildings, the balance between Cycladic architecture and minimalism, as well as the fine line that can turn a building into an experience. He wants to travel to Tokyo, while among the most interesting buildings in the world, he places the YSL Museum in Morocco, but also Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, of the late Zaha Hadid.
Habitat Hotel in Mykonos. A hotel project on an island-symbol of Greek tourism. What is the challenge, the great challenge on this project?
My challenge was to create a space that is familiar and special, without the need for exaggeration. Everything is studied and justifies the reason for their existence without disturbing the tranquility of the visitor. After all, the island is intertwined with exaggeration and we did not want to be part of this. We want to give our own identity to the part of Habitat hospitality.
What elements of the island’s soul did you want to incorporate into the Habitat design?
The fact that the hotel is located in the heart of a settlement made me immediately think of creating a space where the guest feels part of the local community from the very first moment. Personally, I believe that in every trip we must listen to the rhythm of the daily life of the locals and participate in it. We used the best quality materials and so we were able to achieve this result.
“The fact that the hotel is located in the heart of a settlement made me immediately think of creating a space where the guest feels part of the local community from the very first moment”.
Cycladic Architecture. Minimalism and functionality. What is the fine line that creates balance?
Minimalism is defined as the elimination of all elements that are considered unnecessary, so in Cycladic architecture a blue background with a geometric white building is enough to give us balance in the picture. Functionally, the lack of composite materials makes everyday life easier.
What is the defining element that can turn a space into a spatial experience? To have a catalytic effect on the quality of life of the people who live in that space?
First of all, the spaces must be perfectly functional and useful. When this is of course combined with the harmony of materials and colours, no one can resist the magic of the result. After all, all of us leaving the urban apartment dream of a white house by the sea to feel calm and nothing else.
Architectural design of residence and hotel. Is there a fundamental difference?
People in recent years have started to travel more and this has greatly influenced the way they see their daily life in a house. There are many who want to bring home the functions of a hotel room, naturally putting their own taste in the decor.
There are some common features in all your projects. Some obsessions, a core around which you weave your projects?
I always design based on the client and his temperament. My goal is the balance between the client and the best possible aesthetic result. I have an obsession with symmetry and textures; I want anything I touch to give me a feeling. Leather and wood in all their forms will always fascinate me.
Do you like to travel? The trip you would like to make next time?
Yes, I love to travel because there I find the time to rest mentally. I want to be able to travel to Japan and specifically to Tokyo, because I love their cuisine as much as their architecture.
After the last health crisis, what is the main conclusion you find in relation to the architectural choices of the cities?
The era of COVID-19 made most people look for quality in their daily lives. So they decentralized and sought to stay in buildings with courtyard space that would be able to provide them with temporary freedom in similar conditions. We all realized that “mom’s” yard is more valuable than any expensive central apartment in the city.
Your five favorite buildings in the world?
The Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, Zaha Hadid.
The Metropol Parasol in Seville, Spain.
The YSL Museum in Morocco.
The Neuendorf House in Majorca.
The Langen Foundation Museum by Tadao Ando.
“We all realized that “mom’s” yard is more valuable than any expensive central apartment in the city”.
Ideally, what would be the next project you would like to be involved in?
There is already a new project that I am discussing at the moment, which is something very different from what I have done so far. It is a project with European culture that will be built in 5 cities of Germany.