Terraced Architectural Development.

Karpathos, known for its beautiful traditional settlements, is the backdrop for a new architectural project by OOAK Architects. This article explores the gradual development and design of a residence that embraces the island’s traditional architecture while offering a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape.

Embracing Traditional Architecture in Karpathos:

Karpathos is renowned for its stepped roofs and courtyards, which are characteristic of the island’s traditional architecture. The project in the picturesque village of Diafani pays homage to this distinctive style, incorporating elements that capture the essence of the local architectural heritage.

Location and Character of the Project:

Situated in the charming village of Diafani, the project occupies a site that partially extends over the terrace of an existing building. This location offers breathtaking panoramic views of the harbor, the Aegean Sea, and the surrounding settlement, immersing the residence in the authentic atmosphere of the island.

Preserving the Terrace as a Private Observatory:

Despite the need to construct a new house, the design prioritizes the preservation of the terrace’s unique character. The terrace becomes a private observatory, offering an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape while maintaining a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors.

Designing a Suspended Volume for Private Areas:

A suspended volume, inspired by traditional island architecture, hovers above the terrace. This architectural element houses the private areas of the residence, ensuring privacy and creating a distinct visual identity for the project.

Open Ensemble of Shared Spaces on the Terrace:

The shared spaces of the residence are organized as an open ensemble on the terrace. This layout encourages interaction and socialization while capitalizing on the stunning views. The large opening of the ensemble blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior, creating a seamless transition between the two.

Blurring Boundaries between Interior and Exterior:

The design of the residence aims to create a harmonious relationship between the interior and exterior spaces. By blurring the boundaries, the architecture merges with the natural surroundings, offering a multisensory experience for the occupants.

Enriching the Interior Experience with Sea Views:

The interior of the residence is carefully designed to enhance the experience of the breathtaking sea views. Each space is thoughtfully oriented towards the views, allowing occupants to immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Collage of Colors and Materials in the Interior:

The interior design features a collage of colors and materials that reflect the coastal environment. Natural wood, cement-coated walls, and shades of blue inspired by the sea create a tranquil and serene atmosphere, evoking a sense of connection to the natural surroundings.

Capturing the Essence of the Traditional Settlement:

Drawing inspiration from the materiality and architectural elements of the traditional settlement, the design of the residence harmoniously blends with the overall architectural context of Karpathos. The variations in heights and shapes of the interior spaces add depth and character, creating a unique and engaging living environment.
In conclusion, this project in Karpathos showcases the gradual development and integration of traditional architecture into a contemporary residence. The design embraces the island’s rich cultural heritage while providing a refined and elegant living experience that celebrates the natural beauty of the surroundings.


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