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Isthmia Prime Motel

Isthmia, Greece
1 of 4
Isthmia Prime

The unassuming roadside motel by the Isthmus of Corinth is an intriguing cross between Brutalism and the Classical Orders.

Built by Iannis Xenakis and Panos Spiliotakos in 1969, the roadside motel reflects the long Graeco-Roman resort heritage of the area. The Isthmia Prime's characteristic main entrance colonnade is made of 12 stern, board-marked concrete columns, a Modernist throwback to the Doric order of the nearby Temple of Apollo. The colonnade is supporting the 3-storey main residential block, with the rooms arranged obliquely to the main axis to maximise the beautiful views of the gulf of Corinth beyond.

The triangular concrete antefices on the flat roof is another wink to the floral anthemia of antiquity : the decorative palmettes that adorned the eaves of ancient Greek and Roman buildings. The block is intersected by the reception and services area at ground level, allowing for a practical green area at the front with a star shaped pond. Isthmia Prime is an elegant, if somewhat forgotten example of Greece's classical and artistic traditions, fused expertly together by the elan that characterised the work of Iannis Xenakis