this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast

Panorama Hilltop Retreat by Oppenheim Architecture

 

Perched atop a dramatic hillside facing the Ionian Sea, the Panorama Hilltop Retreat is a modern reinterpretation of vernacular aesthetics in Albania‘s Dhërmi village. The proposal, signed by Oppenheim Architecture, envisions the soon-to-be hospitality destination as a cluster of terraced buildings, each hugging the site’s topographic contours, with private views of the Mediterranean open waters. Even more, the design is carefully steeped in Albanian and Greek influences, a hybrid trait strongly reflected across the region and nearby town.

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
Panorama Hilltop Retreat by Oppenheim Architecture | render © MIR

 

 

honoring vernacular village designs along albania’s coast

 

The team at Oppenheim Architecture (see more here) began by studying the local building forms and materials to discover different aspects of their typologies. Initial impressions revealed that they were designed and built in a way that provides comfort through natural ventilation, specifically in the neighboring hill town of Dhërmi. While exploring the village, the architects were equally intrigued by its massive masonry walls, ingenious shading devices, and local landscape, which plays a massive role in shaping that town, allowing it to merge within itself entirely and with the Ionian Sea. As a result, elements of the Panorama Hilltop Retreat are carefully selected to capture the site’s genius loci. 

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
envisioning a cluster of stepped buildings facing the Ionian Sea |  render © MIR

 

 

A village ‘Shesh’ (a plaza in Albanian) welcomes guests from the street. Within the retreat, pools and native landscapes help cool outdoor spaces, while loggias provide shelter, shadow, and movement. As one moves further through, contemporary elements, like an underground spa and private and communal infinity pools, reveal the complete nature and character of the hotel. Meanwhile, a lobby, restaurant, bar, and small chapel all face the square. ‘These social, spiritual, and cultural spaces reflect the growing presence of this destination’s profile within the tourism economy. In addition, it provides a wide range of amenities and supporting programs such as a spa, fitness suite, exclusive sunset club, VIP and event spaces, and accommodation,’ notes Oppenheim Architecture. The Panorama Hilltop Retreat holds 59 hotel keys, with 49 rooms and 13 suites on-site, all designed to face scenic sea views.

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
pool surrounded by a native landscape | render © MIR

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
capturing the vernacular architecture of the nearby Dhërmi village | render © MIR

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
subterranean spa | render © MIR

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
restaurant-bar area faces the square | render © MIR

this hilltop retreat by oppenheim architecture embraces the vernacular of albania's coast
embracing the land | render © MIR

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top view of the Panorama Hilltop Retreat | render © OPA

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project info:

 

name: Panorama Hilltop Retreat

location: Dhërmi, Albania

architect: Oppenheim Architecture | @oppenheimarchitecture

principles in charge: Chad Oppenheim, Beat Huesler
project team: Tom Mckeogh, Alexandre Mecattaf, Rasem Kamal, Gorka Alvarez Palacios,
Maria Diego, Cindy Gysin-Jin, Alexandra Kostahos, Pierre -Alain Auclair

visualizations: MIR | @mir.no, Oppenheim Achitecture 

project year: 2022
site area: 3,600 sqm
net area: 7,000 sqm

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