Club Mediterranée has been present on the promontory of Santa Lucia in Cefalù for over sixty years with a holiday village which has now come to the end of its natural life. Club Med’s intention in commissioning a new design for the site goes beyond a simple overhaul of the existing buildings (for the most part straw huts) in an ambitious plan to upgrade the whole site to reach a wealthier and more demanding clientèle, fewer in number with higher standard accommodation. The site is of outstanding natural beauty and in a great location near Cefalù, one of Sicily’s more beautiful historic towns. Over the years the settlement has grown with the addition and modification of facilities as well as the integration of new planting not always in keeping with the character of the place.
study models of the new master plan
Since the original founding of the resort, a number of regional and national regulations, have been passed with the objective of safeguarding the natural beauty of the coastline and preventing speculative eyesores. From the outset Club Med has observed the restriction of not building anything visible from the town of Cefalù. For the most part the construction visible from the sea is in any case of a very low profile and temporary nature in accordance with Club Med’s founding philosophy.
Club Med Cefalù- Site plan
The project aims to do this by maintaining the existing landscape -particularly species which are unique to the site, and by adopting local building traditions and materials. The programmatic requirements nevertheless make quite heavy demands on the site in terms of the amount of building work planned. Raising the accommodation standard from camping in straw huts to 4star+ requires more overall built volume. We have sought to make this necessity compatible with the natural features of the site.
plan of: 1 piazza 2 amphitheatre 3 pool area 5 pool bar
Poolside The pool as the daytime focus of the resort has been completely redesigned complete with new bar and poolside deck. The bar is made up a lightweight wooden structure for a system of retractable sunshades under which a series of movable objects are located. Together these elements mediate the poolside area with the open piazza in front of the Palazzo and the amphitheatre.
section of public areas. From left to right: pool deck (above), fitness areas (below); amphitheatre (foreground); Palazzo (background)
section through pool and fitness area
DRY STONE WALLS BUILDING
Dry stone walls building: project views; dry stone walls: material references, sketches
Dry Stone Wall Guest Rooms The new project aims specifically to reinforce the site’s original character particularly in the landscaping and planting as the dominant visible theme. The rooms and public spaces are designed to meet the standards of a modern hotel while the atmosphere and walkways are more in line with the resort rather than a large seaside hotel.
study models, plan and section
Dry Stone Wall Guest Rooms The 566 existing straw huts will be replaced by 110 larger and more comfortable bungalows located towards the sea and 200 guest rooms using a more permanent construction technique. The design of these blocks of rooms are derived from the pattern of contour lines over the whole site which become the traces of the dry-stone wall terracing.
working drawing plan, section and dry stone wall sample
The walls curve in a sinusoidal pattern creating interior and exterior spaces which make up the guest rooms while adapting themselves to the slope of the terrain. The dry stone wall has traditionally been used in this area for terracing- in this case we have made it inhabitable.
early interior design proposal
early interior design proposal-materials and furniture
sketch model and materials
Reception The reception building introduces the main architectural theme to the arriving guests. It is a large-scale version of the the guest rooms with a curving dry-stone wall which encloses the main reception, administration offices and baggage store.
study model and Reception desk with walled garden behind Interior (Render- Atelier Sophie Jacqmin)
It also encloses, in an open walled garden, one on the existing trees seen behind the main reception desk. The wall itself varies in construction from solid to “open-grain” to allow natural light to filter in to the main spaces.
Bungalows sited on cliff edge
They are designed to maintain the temporary nature of the construction of the huts they replace, but to reduce the visual impact to a minimum and improve the level of comfort in keeping with a modern hotel.
plan, section and model view A pre-fabricated system has been adopted which exploits the capacities of wood technology and industrial production to the full.
Beach Pool Overlooking the private beach, a hardstand previously used as an open-air discoteque has been converted to a swimming pool area. Since it falls within the temporary buiding area it has been designed as demountable with temporary decking.
RESTAURANT AND TERRACE DECK
plan of restaurant and terrace deck; section through restaurant, terraces and spa These are set into an existing buildings. Towards the east overlooks the sea and the magnificent view of the town of Cefalù. The two levels of the restaurants and the spa are articulated around two courtyards establishing a sequence of open spaces either shaded (veranda, pergola, trees), or sunny (terrace) or enclosed (restaurants, spa).
view of restaurant from Cefalù with Palazzo in the background