The Sand Castle is a small hotel for children located within the Costa Navarino Resort in Messinia, Greece. It is a building that hosts exciting recreational and educational activities. It has been especially designed for children at the ages of 5-7 and 8-12 years, providing various programmes according to age.
The inspiration for the form of the building was the bay of Navarino itself with its never-ending dunes. At the Sand Castle, a child's primary gestures while playing with sand, such as sculpting and mixing, are translated into architectural forms.
A spiral "sand" volume that seems to emerge from the ground comprises the main part of the building on which the small timber units are attached. The materials (sand stone finishes, wood, pebble tec, zinc elements etc.) act complementary to the concept, whereas overall design and construction acts as a reference to archetypical forms of habitat. The entire complex aims to incorporate earthly features, natural characteristics and handcrafted design.
The enclosed open-air plaza, private and secure offers a protected environment and a theatrical stage for its users. Sleeping units and common play area are located in the interior of the building. A central corridor runs along the complex providing circulation and accommodation for educational and recreational facilities. Design and layout is developed according to the anthropometric scale of young children.
An illustration of the handcrafted nature of children's relation to the material world, Sand Castle reinvents itself through participation in space and time. Children are encouraged to explore themselves and each other. It becomes a narrative of space, a metaphor of people's desires and needs proposing a more relaxed, open eventful collective lifestyle where work meets leisure, everyday habits transform into memorable experiences, and young individuals, from all over the world, come together to form a collective unity.