Bozcaada · Τένεδος Guest Houses
Aegean Hospitality

Office  Tornavida Design Role  Concept · Theory Size  45 m² each Location  Bozcaada · Τένεδος Year  2003‑2008

Since the Treaty of Lucerne, the island of Bozcaada has been protected from crasser forms touristic development. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, when its military strategic role was considered less important, this fact enabled a peculiar gentrification brought on by the annual summer pilgrimages of Istanbul's intellectual class. The renovations of the island's Greek village houses and the adaptive reuses of its schools, farm buildings, and abattoirs are individually beautiful, intellectual exercises, but are collectively acultural, as if the style of the globalized wines explored in Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovino – which are technically exquisite and universally accessible but indicative of no actually-existing terroir – had been extended to vernacular Aegean architecture. The analogy is apropos given that the island is, in fact, known for its viticulture and that following the privatization and sale of the island's state winery – to an architect, no less! – its production was recast as the consistently excellent but equally uncharacteristic wines under the Corvus and Karga labels.
The design of these one-room rental pavilions set among the vineyards on the northern shore of the island is in part a critique of this asymmetric development along Turkey's Aegean coast. While at first glance they appear to be a send-up of the Aegean region's shed-roof, vernacular outbuildings, the spatial organization of the interiors follows from imperial Japanese architecture, exaggerating the dissonance between outward appearance and essence that epitomizes the gentrification of the island.
Boulders serve as steps to the platform on which the guest pavilion sits, and a short entrance corridor further separates the pristine interior from the unkempt nature surrounding the building. A carefully-framed square "doormat" of natural stone in this corridor turns this configuration on end.
The plan and interior elevations conform to the proportions of the tatami (畳) and ken (間), and the tectonics follow from traditional joinery. But the placement of a western lavatory in a mizuya dōko (水屋洞庫) is pastiche. The ironic juxtaposition of the rustic and the refined is deliberate. The guest rooms are, in essence, pristine viewing platforms from which intellectual guests can rationalize the world outside without dirtying their feet with its reality.
The tectonics of the interior space.
The building is raised above the ground so as to neither disturb the natural flow of rainwater over the land nor the free movement of small wildlife and insects. The steel structure and interior materials are precut, and a single truck from Istanbul (some five hours away) is sufficient to carry the building materials for four guesthouses. The foundation consists of just footings and straps that can be mixed on site, avoiding the inflated prices of the island's concrete monopoly. The stone for the exterior walls is plentiful on the island itself.
Joinery at the entrance corridor. Natural light is provided to the bath by a panel of glass block that is integrated into the composition of wood panels that comprise the wall along the corridor.
An oversized steel channel serves as the roof fascia, lintel over the window, and gutter. A similar, vertical channel is embedded into the stone facade and acts as the drainpipe.
The roof and ceiling structure at the front of the pavilion are cantilevered from the walls and from columns set within the building envelope. The glass walls are thus independent of the structure allowing for the delicate proportions of the frames and mullions.
Like it or not, we only serve Corvus.
View to the northern shore showing both the wild thyme and the less than organized style of the island's viticulture (circa 2001).
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