Club Med Cefalù
Renovation of one of the first Club Med sites in Cefalù, Sicily. Construction completed July 2018
Club Mediterranée has been present on the promontory of Santa Lucia in Cefalù for nearly 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 cabins) in an ambitious plan to upgrade the whole site to reach a wealthier and more demanding clientèlle, 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.
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.
Our intervention aims to do this by a close observation of the landscape, local building traditions and materials and the natural flora autoctonous to this area.
The intervention does nevertheless have to cater for the demands of the modern tourist with the technical characteristics he or she expects.
Poolside - The pool as the daytime focus of the village 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.
Fitness Area - Below the cantilevered pool deck the existing fitness centre has been renovated.
Amphitheatre - The existing amphitheatre has been restored and the buildings around the stage area demolished in order to give a clear sight line from the piazza, at the top of the slope towards the sea horizon.
Restaurants and Spa
These are set into an existing building. 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).
Dry Stone Wall Guest Rooms
The design of these blocks of housing start from the abstraction of the contour lines over the whole site which become the traces of the the dry-stone walls. 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. These were based on a continuity of concept and space with that of the exterior architecture with great emphasis on comfort, local materials and colours in a free flowing plan.
The bungalows 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.
A pre-fabricated system has been adopted which exploits the capacities of wood technology and industrial production to the full.
The 566 existing straw huts will be replaced by 110 large and more comfortable bungalows located towards the water and 200 guest rooms using a more permanent construction technique.