Can you imagine a castle built entirely for children, where adults aren’t allowed to stay at? The 925 sqm Sand Castle is a small hotel for children, located within the Costa Navarino Resort in Messinia, Greece, on a 1800 sqm plot.
Inspired by sand castles, it has been especially designed for children at the ages of 5-7 and 8-12 years, providing various programs according to age (as well as theatrical stages and points of communication both in- and outside of the building) and offering half-day or full-day packages.
Its form reminds one of the Navarino bay itself with its never-ending dune. So, naturally, the Sand Castle’s programs of playing with sand, sculpting and mixing, are translated into the very architectural forms that gave birth to the building itself.
But, careful, nothing is strict here. Not even the lines of the structure, there’s no horizontal or vertical, when it comes to them. This is after all a castle for children, and children do not even use these words.
But it is a safe and calm place –that seems like an archetypical community of some kind- for them to be themselves (under the constant yet discreet observation by the staff). Where each day of the week has a different theme, including Battles and Treasures of Navarino Dunes, Hercules and the First Olive Tree and Filoxenia; The Art of Friendship. A trully educational and creative environment, including over-night stays, as well as water-related sports and exciting activities where they can practice the martial arts of ancient Sparta; unearth secrets as a junior archaeologist or delve into the magical world of Greek mythology.
Needless to say, this “hug” was constructed by natural and eco-friendly materials, such as wood and sandstone.
No wonder it feels so natural to hide within and play with.
Location: Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece Architect: Polyanna Paraskeva & Associates