All-wooden architecture is almost as old as humanity itself, but chances are, you’ve never seen anything quite like this before. The Wooden Cave is one massive inhabitable sculpture carving beds, benches, bookshelves and other surfaces right out of the walls.
Tenon Architecture created the suite for the hotel Hyades Mountain Resort in Trikala Korinthias, Greece. Designed and built by architects Apostolos Mitropoulos and Thanos Zervos and completed this year, the project inserts gorgeous rounded wooden panels into an existing space to give it an atmosphere that’s simultaneously cave-like and warm.
“The synthesis of the space is based on the idea of dividing the plan into two zones: the main room, which is made up of a continuous curved wooden structure, and the secondary spaces, which are oriented towards the view and covered in dark stone. This division intends to create a clear distinction between the hard, ‘protective’ shell and the curved, ‘inviting’ interior, reminiscent of the form of a cave that has been used as a refuge and a haven throughout human existence,” say the architects. “The guestroom of the inner zone includes two sleeping areas integrated within the curved structure as well as an open-plan kitchen. The outer zone includes two secondary rooms: a sitting area with a fireplace and the bathroom of the main guestroom.”
“Materiality was of paramount importance in the spatial expression of this project, with most of its elements being wooden and the outer spaces made from stone sourced from the local area. The curved structure is made of spruce raw timber, while the rest of the features (kitchen, cupboards, floor, etc.) are of knotless pine plywood. All the wooden structures were constructed at an offset from the concrete shell, which allows for airflow behind the wood.”
Can you imagine any other material that would have given this space such a cozy vibe? The sculptural qualities are truly impressive. The team used 1,112 different pieces of curved wood to achieve the effect. They started by creating digital drawings of the design, which were then hand-cut and then transferred to the site, where they were assembled sort of like a puzzle into 55 larger modules. It might have been easier to use machines to fabricate the components, but the architects wanted the space to have a human touch.
“Finally, one of the most challenging parts of this work, was the translation of the algorithmic drawings into practical instructions for hand-working and sculpting the wood on-site. The final structure is, therefore, a unique amalgamation of algorithmic logic and hands-on craftsmanship.”