Stavros tis Menthis – modern restored remains • Hotel designs

Stavros tis Menthis – modern restored remains • Hotel designs

Located just outside the community of Tasada in the wine-producing region of Paphos in Cyprus, Stavros Tis Menthis is set in a mountain valley nestled among vineyards. Legend has it that the site was created after a villager saw in their dreams a large cross in a mint bush with a lit candle next to it. The monastery and its courtyard were founded in 1520 after monks discovered a 12th-century cross under a mint bush, supposedly hidden there after the original monastery was forcibly occupied by invaders (‘Stavros tis Minthis’ literally translates to ‘the mint cross’). This cross now rests on the iconostasis, or wall of icons, which separates the nave from the sanctuary – the place of sacred engagement.

A minimalist lounge space with natural surfaces in an interior designed by Woods Bagot

Image credit: Woods Bagot

The 16th-century monastery and its accompanying standing buildings were built of locally sourced limestone in an example of Byzantine-era architecture. As the latest custodians of the site, the Woods Bagot project team has revitalized the existing buildings while introducing ten new square village buildings, 50 hotel suites and 2,400 square meters of sanitary facilities that are sympathetically situated within the historic context.

View from inside the guest room through the glass doors to the balcony, pool and the mountainous landscape of Crete

Image credit: Woods Bagot

The redevelopment was inspired by the concept of “modern monuments,” which celebrates the anachronisms of a bygone era while featuring the latest in world-class amenities, said Woods Bagot CEO and project lead Nick Karalis.

The pitched roofs, terracotta tiles, cypress wood and sandstone bricks from traditional Cypriot architecture are reinterpreted into a timeless expression of simplicity and functionality. The design of the new master-planned community with its associated villa clusters, the new village square or “platia” and the attached health building, draws on centuries of courtyard tradition and association with sequential layers of spatial sanctuary. Water This planning concept is believed to bring about a deep restorative and spiritual connection with clean water drawn from a well or spring considered sacred.

The buildings and guest rooms at Stavros Tis Minthis are centered around the swimming pool

Image credit: Woods Bagot

Menthys’s experience is deeply rooted in resistance to modernity, and relishes a devotion to accuracy and sensitivity to history. The varied size and clustering of the numerous buildings surrounding the newly established village of Platia owes its origin to centuries-old traditional planning principles.

The task of recreating a group of buildings in the village was inspired by the principles of community assembly. For a viable village to function, its components typically include a central water well; A village church around which rituals and ceremonies take place; Various commercial buildings with basic food offerings; In some cultures, shared bathing facilities.

Indoor pool and spa with views of the Cypriot mountains

Image credit: Woods Bagot

The buildings of Menthys Village harken back to the past, undermining 21st century influence and amenities. However, the masterplan reinterprets the tradition of the church structure as the tallest building in the village, with its setting incorporating a bar and outdoor dining area. It demarcates the hidden central courtyard defined by the central plane tree.

The buildings surrounding the hotel's central courtyard with a plane tree in the middle are surrounded by benches and tables

Image credit: Woods Bagot

Surrounding this Plateia are art and craft galleries, fashion boutiques, a fine wine cellar or cellar, a barnyard and a restaurant where authentic Greek food is served indoors or outside under a trellis covered with cross-laminated wooden beams.

The legends of the Cross are brought to life in the cruciform layout of the double-height spa building, hidden under a roof of cultivated wild grass. At its center is a green courtyard bordered by another deep well, surrounded on all four sides by overlapping, raised herb planters, each containing fragrant mint, geranium and other local species, selected to extract their essential oils.

The exterior of Minthis Hotel with surrounding water and walls planted with mint

Image credit: Woods Bagot

From this center emanate cruciform circulation corridors around which various treatment facilities are housed within hinged cantilevered wooden boxes, hovering above the surrounding valleys. These treatments range from an indoor pool, yoga studio, gym, hydrotherapy, various therapeutic and cosmetic applications and treatment rooms.

Two butterfly-shaped chairs nestled between two walls with a floor-to-ceiling view across the Cypriot landscape

Image credit: Woods Bagot

Each treatment room includes an indoor massage bed area and an outdoor foot massage area, and each features different types of trees ranging from citrus, pomegranate or fig, which emit intoxicating scents and are considered in medieval iconography to represent rebirth. This ritual circuit begins and ends with an oversized concrete planter wall planted with creeping bougainvillea, leading to an outdoor performance amphitheater.

A view of the old and new buildings that make up Stavros tis Menthis Resort and Village

Image credit: Woods Bagot

This five million square meter mountain community embraces ancientism to reimagine the future and our place in an ever-changing landscape on an epic scale. The final central part, the village’s new main building and spa, has now been settled, and the project will evolve gently over the coming centuries to establish itself over time as a destination emerging from sensitive contextual sites, tradition and pathos.

Main image source: Woods Bagot

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