This old building underwent a restoration that transformed it into a modern functional residence. The initial impression was that there were several limitations and restrictions, but ultimately the redesign and restoration presented a complex design challenge.
The careful mapping and understanding of the plan and the scale of spaces, combined with the client's willingness to collaborate creatively on the notion of a flexible programme adapted to the existing space, contributed decisively to the new shape and occupation of the old shell.
This is a plan that encourages movement and inspires the visitor or resident to wander into areas with different uses and spatial properties.
Closed and open spaces are treated as sheltered and open rooms, which alternate, prompting outdoor living as befits the Cycladic climate.
The first area of the house one enters is the courtyard, which creates the necessary shift from the public to the private open space, which is surrounded by a low wall/sitting area. The double-leaf door entry leads to the main area of the residence: a hall with a high ceiling that is dominated by the arched opening in the wall that supports the roof.
The minimally furnished space features a large table with benches on one side and a low seating area on the other. The wall opposite the entrance has two openings. The right opening leads to a smaller living room with a fireplace and a bedroom with a mezzanine. The left opening leads to the kitchen, through to a longitudinal hallway space, where the utility area is located. To economise, the plumbing has been gathered in a single area.
There is also a small patio, between the fragmented functions of the bathroom, which lets in light and air. At the end of the hallway is the door leading to the back yard.
The door is designed so that it can be left open and integrated with the wooden partition of the bathroom. In order to preserve the scale and extent of the building's architecture, the extensive irregular surfaces and the strange proportions of the openings have been maintained.
Great attention was paid to the design and manufacture of the windows’ wooden frames. Forged components and mechanisms were reproduced, while attention was given to the analogies of the frames’ cross sections.
Design by: Ioannis Exarchou
Photos by: Julia Klimi