on the greek island of paros, nikolas kouretas has designed a cycladic holiday home that harmoniously balances vernacular and contemporary aegean architecture. situated within a vineyard site overlooking the bay of parikia, the project offers a heavenly summer bolthole.
exterior view of the northern façade at first light
all images © pygmalion karatzas
the site is located in the northern part of the village at the kamares settlement. the area is characterized by the local retaining stone steps and the aegean landscape sparingly built in large countryside yards and shrub terrain. across the valley to the south, paros mountain tops dominate the view along with the historic monastery of loggovardas. the client brief asked for the residence to house a family of four with additional spaces for guests.
exterior view of the south-west facing elevation
the plan is organized in three levels. the ground floor is conceived of as an independent unit with living room, kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. the first level (ground floor from the northern side) is arranged with the common areas in the central area and western wing, and the sleeping area in the eastern wing. living room, dining and kitchen have separate spaces but without losing the visual connection and continuity. their main view is toward the south, linking them with the garden via a covered veranda.
exterior view of the north-west facing elevation at sunset
a staircase leads to the second level which has an interior and exterior lounge area along with a larger roof terrace with panoramic views across the valley, mountains and bay. the surrounding plot is designed with a combination of soft and hard landscaping. paving for the car entrance on the north, gravel for the parking on the north-western corner, and a large sitting area under a pergola with adjacent BBQ, traditional oven and storage units. the south and eastern ares of the plot are left for the vineyard.
close up view of western façade and BBQ pergola
the load-bearing structure is made with reinforced concrete while all the exterior walls were made with 50 cm. of local stone from the island. the visible surfaces of the stone walls both externally and internally, as well as the window headers and interior wall alcoves were hand-picked from a quarry in antiparos island and constructed by local masons in accordance with the area’s traditional architecture.
exterior details on the northern façade walls
in every opening the window jamb was designed to form a curve, creating a more vivid interplay of shadows and light over the white-wash plaster. the overall plastering of the walls was done freehand with a special glove in order to create a more sculptural surface against the strong aegean light. most of the furniture are custom-made and built-in.
details of the western façade and chimney
the main concept of the composition was a stone tower embraced around by a waved wing and a sculptural chimney. an organic linear unfoldment based on proportions, balance, materiality, light and history.
interior view of the living room and sitting area
interior view of the living room with built-in furniture and wall alcoves built from local stone
interior view of the living and dining space at night
interior view of the kitchen and dining space at night
exterior view of the western façade and BBQ veranda at dusk
exterior view of the roof terrace and lounge at sunrise
architect: nikolas kouretas
structural engineer: kostas kalergis
construction management: nikolas kouretas
location: kamares village, paros island, greece
surface: 320 sq.m.
design date: 2010-2011
construction date: 2012-2014 (phase A)
photography: pygmalion karatzas
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edited by: lynne myers | designboom