Our proposal brings together different interrelated systems through a set of paths transitioning from loosely defined soft meandering routes to a formal Trivium, forming a web system that weaves together distinctive iconic features of the site such as: the salty meadows, the Preserved Buildings Cultural Complex of Sarlitza Palace and the new complex of the Wellness-Spa Center. The excavated Greco-Roman Baths and part of the Ancient Road that used to link the temple of Artemis with the coast constitute an armature in direct relation to the Sarlitza Pallas Preserved Building. The botanical gardens emerging through the Trivium paths, revise the historical theme of the hotel gardens. A New Public Square is created between the old Sarlitza Palace hotel and the ancillary listed buildings, denoting a north-south axis perpendicular to the ancient road. A large unmanaged part of the plot hosts the periodical sea tide in the form of a salty meadow, a transitional landscape of successive sand drifts, fixed with the rhizomes of endemic and invasive natural vegetation, resistant to the presence of salt water, which shields in a natural and gentle way the areas of new building from seasonal marine intrusion. A set of soft, non-intrusive interventions have been applied to the repurposing of the listed buildings complex, following traditional building expertise, in ways that can become instructive about the building heritage of the island of Lesvos. The re- programming allows visitors to Familiarize with the history, the layers of cultures, the natural and social production of the island and its people. Provisions of accessibility for all have lead to design decisions and smooth transitions between levels while bridging platforms and audiovisual infrastructures have been developed throughout the site for improved accessibility, explanation and perceptibility of the exhibits and the landscape (information boards with visual, audio and tactile material). At the Sarlitza Palace complex, the following modules-actions are proposed: Cultural Functions, on a multi-functional basis for Exhibitions (permanent and periodicals), Workshops of Language, Art, History – Archeology and corresponding interdisciplinary digital narratives, Experience of local food delis and products alongside cooking lessons for healthy nutrition. The New Thermal Spa – Tourism Center builds sequences of spaces starting from the specifications of the modern institutional framework of Thermal Spa facilities and Thermal Baths in Greece. In the treatment areas, the quality of the spaces does not depend only on the quality of the experiences available to the visitor, but on achieving a balance between space and time by creating pockets of experience, in which humidity, cold, relaxation alternate in grouped zones.
(Text by Io Carydi)