House in Syros
HOUSE IN EPISKOPIO, SYROS
The house is situated in the Cycladic island of Syros, in a property of 0.40 hectares with a view of the Aegean Sea. The architectural approach intended to form a dialogue between contemporary architecture and traditional Greek typology. Regional vernacular elements, such as the relationship of the building to the landscape, the sculptural qualities of light, the handmade stone masonry walls, were re-cast in modern terms. The geometry of the building follows that of the landscape, mimicking the stone retaining walls that characterize the Greek island landscape. The 400 square meter building is divided into several distinct volumes that are diagonally stacked, thus fitting seamlessly in the topography of the site. The use of the excavation stone for the construction makes the building further blend in with the surrounding countryside. Each volume of the house is one level high thus providing access to the outdoors from each space.
Built on the boundary between a green, traditional settlement and a barren mountainside, the building appears at times embracing and at times austere. The hard stone shell of the outside is gradually transformed as one enters the building. In the entrances and circulation spaces the forms are simple and the materials used are still rough and cold. The increasing intensity of natural light guides the visitor to the main areas of the house where the light is abundant, the volumes are intricate and the materials are warmer. The comfort of the house is furthered by a sustainable building approach.
The 60cm stone walls, the planted roofs and the proper insulation keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The placement of windows on adjacent walls creates natural ventilation and the rainwater is gathered on a cistern for the daily uses of the house.