The Monastery

Welcomes the discerning wanderer for a journey of transformation. Standing against conventional resorts, it offers a unique experience by creating spaces for intentional communion with one another.

Mykonos, Greece

Boutique Hotel


the Karma Group


Physical Model
Unrolled Cluster Oblique Photograph

“Unless you have seen the houses of Mykonos, you cannot pretend to be an architect, whatever architecture had to say, it is said here.”

* Le Corbusier in a letter to William Ritter in the 1920s

On Vernacular

Tight restriction on new construction that aims to maintain the local, historic building language, as well as the effort to create a homogenized island style has led to the bastardization of architecture across the island.

This research seeks to understand the nuances of the vernacular through the explicit modeling of artifacts found across the island at four scales.

Scale — Urban Cluster
Mykonian Chora
Scale — Single Building
Church of Panagia Paraportiani
Scale — Formal Fragment
Orthodox Prayer Shrine
Scale — Architectural Element
Chora Gates

On Site

In the The Deep and The Flat, we were interested in how these conditions alter perception by creating multiple readings in three distinct realms: the programmatic, the architectural and the representational.

Scale — Urban Cluster
Μύκονος χώρα
Scale — Single Building
Εκκλησία της Παναγίας της Παραπορτιανής
Scale — Formal Fragment
Cat Shrine
Scale — Architectural Element

Clustering of Resort Villas and Suites

Intrigued by formal qualities derived from the dichotomy of The Deep and The Flat, this project alters one’s perception by creating multiple readings in three distinct realms: the programmatic, the architectural and the representational.

Resort Cluster Masterplan
Realm N°1 — Programmatic

We were primarily interested in how the layering of spaces, arranged from private and contemplative to communal and shared, begins to create a dynamism that stands in contrast to the generic travel experience found in conventional resorts.

In this light, The Monastery’s spatial configuration of self-similar clusters populate the site to produce a garden of unique instances. The constellation of amenities found beneath the underbellies of the clusters and subterranean grottoes become enclaves for communal interaction, like the Daybreaker and Nightwalker club experience, where travelers participate in the ancient ritual of music and dance. Contrastingly, the canopy of above ground monk-cells, the private chapel and the rejuvenating balneary become spaces for personal refuge, introspection and solace soaking.

Realm N°2 — Architectural

When considering the architectural mass of The Monastery we realized there is no such thing as singular essences but rather dichotomies, whether material, atmospheric or tectonic. Thus we became intrigued by forms that flicker between various readings created by their silhouette; something we discovered in our contextual research. For us, the ambiguity of whitewash, a medium that is both negator and enhancer, is one that allows the essential aesthetic of pure mass to emerge for a multiplicities of essences to exist in the same architecture.

For example, the mass of The Monastery appears impenetrable from the vantage point of an underbelly who’s horizon often ends in a flat wall. This is useful to concentrate ones focus on the activity taking place in these spaces, whether it is eating at a communal table or participating in morning yoga. On the other hand, the view from the central corridor appears quite porous, inviting gazes and engagement.

Realm N°3 — Representational

We think of representation not only as a tool to communicate an already designed object; but as a design tool to reinvestigate architectural vocabulary and renegotiate the role of parallel projection and perspective in the making and understanding of space.

As an example, our keyholes focus their energy on the notion of the threshold, and hope to re-define the common conception of the threshold as transitory or temporary. Instead our thresholds become moments of inhabitation. We exploit the inherent distance created by the perspective view to question the origin and the limit of elements. Contrastingly, the oblique view collapses space but provides more abstract legibility. Ultimately, our goal was to use the wall, whether literal or representative, as the interface for architectural intervention.

As travel commentator Greg Oates noted, “We are all seeking our monk,we believe The Monastery is were you will find them.


category. Academic, Building

project team. Andrew Matia & Daniel Silverman

where. PennDesign Advanced 704

critic. Georgina Huljich + Marcelo Spina

teaching assistant. Miguel Abaunza


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