Design Office: Kapsimalis Architects
Location: Santorini, Greece
Photographs: Julia Klimi
Design Office: Kapsimalis Architects
Location: Santorini, Greece
Photographs: Julia Klimi
Design Office: Deborah French Designs
Location: Mykonos, Greece
Photographs: Paul Ryan
Description by Block722:
Situated in the island of Syros, this summer house hosts a family of four and their guests. In contrast to the neighbouring Syros I residence, the steep and intense topography dominated the design process.
A massive staircase leads to a gradual descent from the top towards the house, intensifying the experience of the cycladic landscape. The entrance is surrounded by the higher volumes of the main areas of the house, ending the descent path, then opening immediately to an ample view of the Aegean.
Programmaticaly, the house is clearly divided into the clean and square volume of the common areas (living room, kitchen) and the partially buried rectangular volume of the bedrooms. The guesthouse is also buried inside the slope, defined by a stone wall that is typical of the local archihtecture. The main volume is characterized by a free floor plan, allowing the continuous view of the outside and offering a cosy living space near the fireplace. The outdoor common spaces include two open “courtyards” shielded from the sun and the central part of the court, open to sunbathing and the children’s plays.
Design Office: Block722
Location: Syros, Grrece
Photographs: Erieta Attali, Ioanna Roufopoulou
Description by Katerina Tsigarida Architects:
PNG I and II have been inspired by Antiparos landscape, which has been designed, for ages, by “pezoules” (short stone walls). They are located in the east part of the island, facing the island of Paros, and looking straight ahead to the Aegean Sea.
They have been conceived as buildings which naturally emerge through the archetypical cycladic landscape. Stone walls which follow the natural curves of the landscape, organize the interior and exterior life of the summer house. Open and closed spaces are described as a combination of platforms “platomata” scattered along narrow streets, footpaths, designed by “pezoules”. Walking along these footpaths, everyday, is divided into all the expanses of life in summer; from public space to privacy, from sun to shadow, from wind to silence.
The houses adopt the characteristics of a concave and a convex wall, that opens itself to the view, following the terrain.
Design Office: Katerina Tsigarida Architects
Location: Panagia, Antiparos, Greece
The characteristic features of the site and the island’s traditional building practices, though without a historicist attitude, are the recognizable project elements: the maintenance of the existing flora, the restructuring of the site’s terracing and the organization of the house with volumes which are either independent or ‘arise’ as intermediate gaps. The building is placed on a terrace. The entrance to the house is found in the void between the volume of the house and the terrace behind it. A longitudinal course, parallel with the gradient of the slope connects the distinct building volumes and three courtyards, each having different characteristics: a covered courtyard (in the heart of the building), a shaded one by the oak trees (close to the living room) and one exposed to the sun (at the end of the corridor). Perpendicular to the longitudinal course one enters the main areas of the building (the living room and the two bedrooms), which open up towards the sea. The circulation and the service spaces (entrance, corridors and bathrooms) are expressed as voids that connect the differing volumes of the primary spaces. The configuration of the flat roof corresponds to the plan of the house, as it depicts the individual volumes and the relationship between them. It is also the main facade of the building since it is exposed in its entirety as one approaches. The roof is formed so as to provide cross ventilation to the main living and sleeping areas and is also set up as a system of collectors that receive and direct the rainwater to the cistern which is the quiet protagonist of the building. The house is constructed with the usual practices of the local builders. Without a decorative intent most surfaces (floors, external walls, internal wet areas) are formed by cement.
Design Office: Marina Stassinopoulos – Konstantios Daskalakis
Location: Kea Island, Cyclades, Greece
Photographs: Yiorgis Yerolympos
Description by hhharchitects:
In the area of Stoupa in Mani hhharchitects planned and constructed three vacation houses with a shared pool for an exclusively touristic operation. The complex consists out of stone blocks placed in between the existing olive trees, promoting the elements of the local traditional architecture but in a constant dialog with contemporary architectural design. The building materials, as also the morphology and the breakdown of the houses in a smaller scale, refers and paraphrases a typical Mani settlement. The main volumes are connected through transparent glass elements creating contrast and tension to the massive stone blocks. Open courtyards and verandas with pergolas are created between the different volumes with space qualities equal to the interior.
The three houses are placed in a row with the two larger positioned at the edges and a smaller one in between, keeping always the privacy of each one. Each of the bigger house consists of two stone blocks, one with three floors (incl. the basement) which includes all the bedrooms, and one with only ground level which is the main living area. The entrance and dining area is the connection space that with its transparency floats to the surrounding open spaces. All pergolas, railings, an outdoor staircase and a small veranda are made of light steel constructions, where the use of perforated metal plates for the floor and for the steps makes these elements appear lighter and increases the contrast to the stone walls. From the same metal plates are also made the window shutters creating an interesting play with the light.
Design Office: hhharchitects
Location: Mani, Greece
Photographs: Nikos Daniilidis
Design Office: Katerina Valsamaki Architects
Location: Zakynthos, Greece
Photographs: Konstantinos Thomopoulos
Description by Kostas Zouvelos:
The towers, these imposing tall and narrow prisms, are the most stubborn and absolute expression of Mani building. On the outskirts of the settlements, the “xemonia” were erected in order to defend or expand the land property. They served to control, exclude or drive out the opponents, but also to transfer the pressure from the main settlement to new territories.
Tainaron Blue Retreat is a representative sample of traditional xemonia of the South. The tower – now transformed into a small guest house – is facing a similar construction, which had also been a strong fortified complex. Both together, they controlled the road to the area around Tainaron. The war tower is built on solid ground and rocks known as “rizomies”, at a strategic spot that offers an amazing view of the sea and the hinterland.
The restoration of the traditional building solved form issues in relation to the old texture of the masonry, so that the final look of the tower gives the impression of a building that emerges from the rock, upon which it is founded. The grouting internally and externally was done with real “kourasani” or Roman mortar (a combination of Theraic soil, ceramic powder, lime and a special shade of river sand) and minimum amount of cement, which enhances the static adequacy of the masonry and ensures durability.
The conversion of the tower into a guest house had to overcome considerable difficulties. The reason was the need for a high degree of adaptation to the specific characteristics of the regional architecture and at the same time the demand for accommodation in rooms with modern aesthetic perception. The four floors, with their relatively limited interior spaces that comprise of three bedrooms with bathroom and shared kitchen, breakfast and reception space, are organized along a vertical axis, allowing guests to have the unique experience of moving through narrow openings (“waterfalls”), wooden stairs or rocks protruding from the walls and arches (“steps”).
As the formation of the exterior spaces had to ensure minimum interference, the addition of a water surface area adapted to the specific environment and respected the topography of the landscape, resulting in an even and unified set of buildings and space with intensity and character.
Tainaron Blue Hotel has been awarded the Special Committee Award for Overall Rating, at the 100% Hotel Design Awards 2015.
Design Office: Kostas Zouvelos, Kassiani Theodorakakou
Location: Asiata, Sminos, Greece
Photographs: George Meitner