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Housing complex in Santorini

Housing complex in Santorini


Principal Architect:  Aris Kordas

Project Architect: Athina Raftopoulou

Design Team: Eleni Tsaprali

Housing complex in Santorini

The project is located in a small village on the popular island of Santorini. The village of Mesa Gonia close to Fira, is surrounded by vineyards and has a distinctive landscape. The project is a housing complex that includes twelve residencies. It develops along a sloping plot, offering great views over the blue Aegean Sea. The biggest challenge in this project, was to bring it closer to the human scale. With attention and respect to the natural landscape, the houses develop along the cliffside on a scenic location.

Taking advantage of the incline of the plot, the volumes follow the linear pedestrian path. This arrangement, aims to create views over the sea. The two storeys houses include one- and two-bedroom units. In addition, inspired by the built environment of Santorini, the volumes of the houses are interacting with each other. The roof of one house is the terrace of the next one, thus formulating a modern expression of traditional building methods met on the island. The soft white plastered surfaces, enhance the impression of the white volumes as a central feature of the architectural concept.

Overall, the residential complex creates a sense of neighborhood. The vision was to create a small village, built along its central private road and orientated towards the view, resembling in this way to the existing villages in the area. In design terms, the project expresses itself through minimal volumes, respecting at the same time the traditional building techniques and materials.

Architectural design

The entrance to the houses is through the living rooms. Both in the ground and in the upper floors, the living spaces are arranged in an open plan layout. The generous terraces on the upper floors, enjoy magnificent views over the Aegean Sea. The openings of the houses are designed with the intention to illuminate the interior spaces with natural light. The overall architectural composition respects the local architectural traditions, and proposes framed views of the horizon, in the maximum allowed dimensions. The arrangement and typology of the windows and window doors adapt, in other words, the local architectural language and regulations.

The common areas of the complex, include a linear path along the plot, and a lush garden with local aromatic herbs. Moreover, outdoor dining areas, offer an idyllic background to experience the Greek summer. The complex integrates in the natural surroundings, thanks to the olive trees planted near the entrances of the houses and along the rear of the plot as well. The whole complex is enclosed in a stonewall fence, built with the characteristic natural stone of Santorini. The built stonewall fences, form the outdoor living areas and the private courtyards of each house. In addition, the characteristic black stone, creates an interesting contrast to the white volumes of the houses.

All these elements, inspired by the local architecture and the topography of the landscape, form a relaxing, serene backdrop for families and couples to experience the easy living atmosphere of the rural identity of Santorini.

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