Vacation Home in Paros Island
On a seaside flat piece of land with olive trees, vines and conifers, this family holiday home was designed for three generations and consists of four buildings.
Layout Design guided by the Landscape
Guided by the geometry of the olive grove, the buildings were placed parallel to the planting lines of the olive trees, as well as at a 45-degree rotation, along the diagonals. During construction, where necessary, some olive trees were transplanted around the perimeter of the excavation, always in the same alignment as the existing olive grove, while others were stored in a nursery, to be transplanted nearby, immediately after the completion of the buildings. The result is a house nested among the olive trees.
Three out of four buildings are white, single-story, with volumes and openings consistent with the traditional Cycladic proportions and sizes. In each of the two main buildings, a large 7m wide opening with sliding recessed glazing, unites the interior living space with the shaded outdoor area of the pergola, completely freeing the views to the sea and maximizing the experience of living close to nature. At the back of each of these two buildings, the volumes create U-shaped courtyards, where a lemon tree and a pepper tree grow, protected from the sea air. A third, smaller white volume, the independent guesthouse, is tucked away at the northern end of the compound, behind the shade of a pine tree shaped by the north wind – the meltemi.
Finally, the fourth building, a stone, encaved, L-shaped structure with green roofs, encloses a secret garden with citrus trees, cypresses, and herbs. This volume is positioned to functionally serve the other two, distributing movement from the parking area and from the sunken citrus courtyard.
The olive grove that was preserved and expanded, and the Mediterranean garden that was created in front and around the house, are perhaps the most important elements of the composition. The three, single-story white buildings border the olive grove and embrace the low vegetation Mediterranean garden. The encaved stone building functions on the one hand as a landscape, with its green roof, and as an artificial ravine where trees grow tall, protected from the wind and the sea salt.
Material Palette for a Natural Feel
Aiming to establish a tight bond between the Mediterranean garden and the stark white living volumes, the outdoor terraces and pergolas are key in balancing the natural landscape and the minimalistic architecture. The range of materials has been expanded to include a variety of textures, sizes, geometries, and colors. From antique cobblestones, cast pebble floors with marble borders in earthy tones, Byzantine layers of sandblasted marble and wooden deck, to cement screed steppingstones, the warmth created by the alternation of textures is associated with the variety of the material palette. Handmade details, such as marble and ceramic knobs and lamps, marble window screens, pebble embroidery on the floors and clostrat, provide reference points and complete the composition, creating a stronger sense of place for the owners, and elements of discovery for the visitors.