The house is located on the south end of Antiparos Island in the Cyclades. Its plot is square and situated along a mild hill only 100 meters from the sea. The main orientation is south, facing the island of Despotiko, a protected archeological site. The prevailing wind comes from the north and northwest in the summer.
Five square volumes organized in two main levels alternating with covered and open-air terraces and court- yards comprise the house. This chequered layout produces zones of covered, enclosed and open spaces and provides each space with its own light and air. On the lower level, the main house is made of three volumes, each hosting a specific program; the studio, the kitchen and the bedrooms. The studio is conceived as a generic space, an absolute square, with its three high doors in the south bringing inside most of the southern light. High openings on the backside allow northern light and air to come in as well. The kitchen is set further back creating a covered space in front and two courtyards in the back of studio and bedroom volumes respectively. The kitchen and covered terrace are conceived as the social spaces of the house around which people gather and offer a mild transition from the studio (public) to the bedrooms (private). The kitchen is long, with two large glass doors on each side that slide and disappear into the wall, creating a semi exterior space. On one side is a paved courtyard that extends the kitchen, and on the other side earth spills in, creating a direct connection with the landscape. The paved courtyard connects to an exterior corridor on the perimeter of the studio that leads out to the exit; this allows for ‘back of house’ access to the kitchen, storage and mechanical spaces. A stair cuts vertically through the house leading to the upper level of the summer guest quarters. The stair lands on the sun deck, from which you can access the sunken living area, overlooking southwest to the Despotiko and the sunset, or continue to the covered terrace between the guest houses. Each house hosts two guest rooms with a shared bathroom.
Photography by Erieta Attali and Ed Reeve.
To follow the construction of APS please visit: https://apsoliarosdevelopmentblog.wordpress.com/
The project deals with the renovation of a 30 year old vacation house located in Mykonos island.
The existing house has gradually grown through the years with several additions and extensions of rooms leading to a charming but complex assembly of spaces. Although it has many picturesque qualities due to its organic growth it lacks good circulation and hierarchy of interior and exterior spaces.
In that context we were asked to intervene and rearrange, punctually, some interior and exterior spaces in order to render them more useful and usable while respecting the existing Cycladic character of the house. The property is planned to be seasonally rented, so aspects of publicness were important parameters we had to take into consideration.
Our strategy was that of acupuncture -we focused on small changes with maximum impact. We enlarged some of the existing spaces introducing hierarchy and rearranged others in order to use space in its most potential. With the design of balconies, terraces in different levels and circulation we created gradients of publicness in order to accommodate different visitor scenarios.
Regarding the finishes, we proposed a twist towards modern aesthetics that blend with the Cycladic traditional style, creating a combination of old and new elements that coexist in equilibrium. The existing wood ceilings, rough textured walls and marble detailing were complimented with a white steel pergola, terrazzo in the interior flooring and a fresh, aqua color for the timber widows and shutters.
The house sits in-between two gorges (“avlakia” in Greek) in the Cycladic island of Antiparos, Greece. The site has a western orientation, so it enjoys the views of the sunset and the neighboring islands of Sifnos and Serifos, while it is also exposed to the North strong winds.
Avlakia house emerges out of the landscape in the form of a stone retaining wall, while a white volume sits on it, in a monumental, temple-like presence. This monumentality is achieved by a series of formal operations that transformed a white box into a sculptured building, a Cycladic temple. To define these operations (inward inclinations, scale, proportions, symmetry, repetition of openings), we observed the formal rules that have been employed since antiquity in the architecture of monuments across cultures.
The property is located in one of the more architecturally interesting areas in Nicosia and is itself characterized by an impressive example of eclectic architecture and an uncommonly large garden area.
Our aim was to highlight the unique attributes of the original house, while creating a contemporary volume that organizes the exterior area through subtle movements. The two structures are connected through a third element, a glass volume; the “sunroom” which serves as a multipurpose space for the house. The transition between the levels of the existing house, the new structure and the pool level is seamless. A third volume is also created on the northern side of the property facing the new main structure, which engulfs the exterior activity, offering better privacy for the occupants.
The eclectic house hosts the close family activity while the lower level (basement) hosts part of the support spaces. At the main level, the sunroom can be used as a shaded area in front of the pool year around, or as a large dinning room for family functions or bigger gatherings, offering flexibility in table arrangements. This space overlooks the exterior living space and serves as a transition from the old to the new structure, which is almost fully dedicated in entertaining and recreational spaces (TV room, guest rooms, gym, etc.)
The materiality chosen for the new volume stems from the Old Nicosia architecture with its traditional use of limestone and mud bricks. Many of the wealthy estates were traditionally built with the Nicosia limestone and mud bricks have been used in certain examples for latter extensions. Our proposal suggests for the new extension to be built out of lime-washed bricks, so as to differentiate clearly but subtly from the old villa. A lot of effort has also been placed into controlling the heat and the light, especially in the new structure. Larger windows are placed towards the northern exposure bringing in comfortable light and opening up the building towards the interior of the plot. At the same time, a corridor on the western side of the building keeps the western exposure at bay, while offering extra privacy.
A temporary installation for the ReMap 4 Info Point. ReMapKM is a biannual contemporary art platform. Since its first launch in 2007, it has become known for its participatory, collaborative and discovering nature, hosting a unique variety of projects presented by artists, curators, institutions and galleries from across the world.
The courtyard of the old Athenian house, and particularly the courtyards that were communal and shared by more than two houses, constituted the private outdoor space of the city. These courtyards functioned as links between the surrounding houses, and the activities within them were vital and vivid: one could isolate oneself from city life, socialize with friends and family, relax, wash and hang clothes, dine, celebrate, tend the garden. The ReMap4 info point inhabits in a courtyard with elements assembled from reusable building materials such as wood planks used for scaffolding, concrete blocks, construction lights with cages, cables and wires. These elements are temporarily recomposed and redefined in order to revive the spirit of the old Athenian courtyard as a container of outdoor private life. The use of building materials denotes that something new and innovative is about to take place.
The scope of this project was to revive an old Cycladic “rooms to let” facility and reveal its natural charm and potential. Our challenge was to formulate a strategy of intervening, such that it felt that the place has always been this way. To achieve this we employed traditional materials and techniques and we designed back in the office only the main items within the space, letting the “in between” gaps to be filled in on site as the project evolved. We acted more as “naïve” architects building by sketching or giving direct instructions to the crews. Light, air, and the relation to the sea, were the main trajectories that directed our decisions. Beachhouse Antiparos is a small beachside hotel located in the calm bay of Apantima, in the island of Antiparos, Cyclades. The entrance is flanked by a sculpture by artist Latifa Echakhch. Hotel facilities include 9 suites, a beach restaurant and bar, yoga platform with exterior showers and changing room, massage area, pop up shop and concierge. There is also a shaded beach area with pergolas and an olive grove with a tree house for the kids.