Two vacation houses in Santa Maria

The project comprises two adjacent vacation houses on the northeastern edge of Paros island, in Santa Maria.

During the last years, Paros has been one of the most rapidly developing Cycladic islands, being a popular destination in the domestic and international tourist flows. Beside the increase in visitors’ volume, services have been upgraded and demand has become more selective, and this has had an impact on the programmatic requirements of vacation houses.

On the one hand, users seek relaxation and breaking away from their urban lifestyles; on the other, they seek the same amenities that they enjoy during the rest of the year. The project had to confront two challenges: devising a place-specific solution and finding a balance between tradition and modernity.

Both houses, located at the last property north of Santa Maria, bordering the Natura area of natural preservation, face east with uninterrupted views to Naxos (east) and Delos (north).

This orientation, beside the view and the ground morphology, results from the need to protect the residents from the strong summer wind from the north, and from the view of neighboring buildings on the south.

This protection is enhanced with the use of architectural elements such as stone walls, shades, and pergolas, that create hospitable nooks.

In the building’s aesthetics, the pair of tradition and modernity finds a balance that is redefined each time, according to the individual features of each building and user.

In this case, one aspect of the project involves the large scale, increased technical requirements, the need for high-level services and living, paired with the intention for clear lines and spaces, consistent with the teachings of the modern movement.

On the other side lies the restrained Cycladic architecture, small scale, the simplicity of island living and the rough feel of traditional materials. The balance between all these elements became the main driving force in the architecture of both houses: Technology combined with tradition, comfort with simplicity, clarity and texture, contemporary and vernacular.

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