Architects House

Location: Santorini, Greece

Date: 1990

Location Address: Caldera

Status: Completed Works

A construction in perfect harmony with the stunning natural environment characterized by simplicity, plasticity and scale. Source of design inspiration was nature, movement and human, as in all of the projects by Oikos.

The vernacular architecture of Santorini is a splendid example of a built space skillfully adapted to a harsh natural setting. A natural example of the interaction between the four elements (fire, water, earth, air) of nature according to ancient philosophy. The landscape still bears clear marks of the gigantic volcanic eruption (ca. 1500 BC) that gave the formation of the island as it is today.The old settlements of Santorini are characterized by high density, narrow streets and small buildings.
Dominant design rule was the material and space minimalism, mutual protection from the wind and solar heat, security, as well as the highly communal spirit of the old societies.
This modern way of thinking where design assigns priority to the functionality is everywhere in the traditional architecture of Santorini. Nature is the chief designer: climate, earthquakes, materials scarcity and topography had been the primary design parameters, and were respected with admirable integrity and ingenuity. Tradition resulting from long experience was dictating the building specifications from layout to decoration, with little ground for experiments from the established norms.
Contemporary architecture of Santorini should respect and highlight the tradition and combine it with the modern design. Those were the thoughts during the design process of the Architect’s House.
Architect’s House was built in 1990 and was the home of the designers’ family for over 20 years (therefore named the “Architect’s House”). It’s perched atop the most stunning volcanic cliffs of Santorini, with breathtaking panoramic views of the mysterious caldera and covers 145 sq. meters. It consists of a living room, a dining room, a loft, a kitchen, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
The source of design inspiration was nature, movement and human presence, as in all of the projects by Oikos. The main design idea and priority was to create a construction in perfect harmony with the stunning natural environment that would be characterized by simplicity, plasticity and scale. This was achieved through the combination of the traditional airy architecture of Santorini with the modern design.
All edges are rounded inside and outside of the building respecting the traditional style, creating the illusion that the actual dimension is lost and the building is characterized by plasticity and movement, like an organic form that flows through space and time, like a sculpture emerges through the mystical energy and eternal beauty of Santorini.
The main color of the villa is the pure white of the Cycladic architecture. Color has been used widely in a more structural and substantial way, describing masses, different functions and movements through the building’s space. Color was used mostly as a design tool to highlight the architectural elements, the route, the engraving and signage, the use and gives identity and character.
The use of natural materials, warm inviting color palette, elegant furniture with references to traditional elements and a touch of multicultural design, create a relaxing and sensational ambience indoors and outdoors, ideal for a family house, as the Architect’s House was for over 20 years, in perfect harmony with the unique spirit, eternal beauty and energy of authentic Santorini.
The house was recently renovated and transformed into a luxurious villa offering idyllic wedding venue over the caldera, ideal for lifetime memorable vacations and events in front of this unique volcanic landscape.
Despite its use through the time, Architect’s House stands proudly like a modern white sculpture on the black caldera cliff facing the volcano and the endless Aegean Archipelago.

Photography by Antonis Eleftherakis