Sitting below the archeologically protected site of Kounados in Paros, just above Paroikia, we were asked to design a house for a four-member family. The plot, which is a typical Parian landscape with ancient stone drywalls, scattered shrubs, and local herbs, overlooks Paroikia and the surrounding hills and offers the famous Aegean sunset.
The 280 m² house is designed as a single-story sitting on the existing contours dictated by the landscape and rhythmically divided into four separate and distinct volumes. Each volume is serving a different function focusing mainly on their privacy levels of each use, as well as, respecting the local architecture which demands each volume to be less than 10m long.
The white-rendered volumes start from the most public and outgoing area, which is the external stone barbeque area, shaded by naturally weathered driftwood to the more private ones which host the three master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.
All volumes are interconnected with dark stone quarried from the excavation of the site itself, which act as a divider, framing views, creating pocket spaces, or privacy barriers. On top of each volume, the terrace patios are accessible by staircases embedded in the rear facade, maximising the external private areas and offering even better views.
The natural steepness of the plot allows the project to be expanded below ground level, with one of its facades being visible above ground, where a large basement hosts a home cinema, a gym, and secondary storage areas. In addition, a large garage is created underneath the patio and in continuity of the basement.
In front of the main facade which has a South-West orientation, and to avoid the scorching summer sun, the introduction of a large pergola is offering a more shaded area and a passive environmental solar control strategy.
Following the same level division, the pool patio intermediately connects the 2 main stories and the landscape, thus creating an additional external area by the swimming pool. The linear shape of the pool is placed in a way to maximize the sunlight throughout the day and also be visible from the main interior day spaces and main master bedroom.
The material selections for the project in general are kept simple, rustic and in touch with the local architecture, traditions, and ethos. White rendered or stone walls, exposed driftwood elements, built-in furniture, and forged cement textures interact with the Paros sunlight and the Aegean blue and create a calming, summer atmosphere. The same concept applies to the landscape design, which is mostly left natural and untreated, allowing the existing stone drywalls called “lithies” to be showcased and the house to blend with the existing topography.
As a result, feelings and memories are not only affected by the natural elements, like the sun, wind, and landscape but also are enhanced through the architecture itself, from its large scale down to the small unnoticed details.