the olive tree guest house

the olive tree guest house

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This guest annex in Kotroni was designed around an existing olive tree which helped to define the entrance space and also divide the building into its two main volumes.

It was built as a small holiday studio for guests of the main house. Its allocation on the stepped land is visible from a long distance as this village climbs up the side of a small hill. The core objective was to build something that would very discretely extend the village line without standing out. The use of the local slate stone that forms all the retaining walls for the terraces was adopted in order to make the small annex almost indiscernible from its environment. Reclaimed tiles and timber painted in olive green complete the disguise.

Two volumes with their own four pitched tiled roofs with traditional timber beams and bamboo construction internally are connected via a small entrance hallway behind the old olive tree. Internally, traditional and modern elements and materials have been combined to create a light an airy feeling with a cozy finish and state of the art aesthetics.

The project was completed in July 2012.

 

a house under the castle

a house under the castle

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A beautiful restoration and extension of an existing two storey property located just beneath the castle in the coastal town of Koroni in Southern Greece.

This beautiful property next to the sea was built over the course of more than a century with the initial core stone and mud brick building built in the second half of the 19th century. A number of more and less successful additions and extensions to this core created a weird but wonderful mix of spaces materials and uses.

The proposal emerged through the process of stripping the property of all the ad hoc divisions that made the house feel like a random array of pokey rooms. The spaces that were revealed afforded a certain theatrical feeling and so we decided to reduce the interventions to a very discreet set of background works that tied the spaces together. Where possible we kept the original materials but tweaked the color scheme to blend such opposite materials as timber floors with concrete mosaic floors and polished or dressed concrete.

The big rooms were kept open plan thus highlighting the airiness and light that the orientation and sea view allow. The kitchen area that needed a full facelift was redesigned with a minimal rough style that does not contrast the rest of the house.

The landscaping of the outdoor space that overlooks a small beach was organized as a combination of seating and shady areas with open areas that step down to the sea.

The project was completed in July 2012.

solar village house

solar village house

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This house is situated in the village of Lower Doloi, in Western Mani.

The restoration of the property included the creation of an independent guest annex bedroom with an en-suite shower room, and the addition of a bathroom and storage room for the main house.

The annex room meets the main house in a common courtyard, with a central old well. The aesthetics of the interior of the annex and of the refurbished and extended house contrast the stone that dominates on the exterior, creating a white canvas on which wooden elements, built-in or not, project. The intention is to create a soft and cozy feeling that reflects the traditional village house.

An important part of the restoration was the redesigning of the landscape, where a variety of different seating and walking areas were proposed, giving a choice of options depending on the weather and the hour of the day. The garden is orientated to the south with stunning views and therefore the design integrated both a covered veranda between the added bathroom and storage room and a freestanding pavilion with a bamboo roof, to provide shade and prolonged access to the views for outdoor summer life. The materials, construction elements and techniques are traditional to the area - stone walls of 50 cm thick, timber windows and byzantine ceramic roof tiles. These were often purchased from derelict buildings and integrated into the house in order to create the desired aesthetic.

 

extended family tower house

extended family tower house

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This seafront holiday home is the renovation of an old tower house in the beautiful small harbor of Aghios Dimitrios in Mani. The building was originally part of a walled complex on the seafront and was probably the outhouse of the bigger and very prominent Christeas Tower that overlooks Aghios Dimitrios. It used to have three stories but the upper floor was severely damaged during a big earthquake in the early 20th century. It was demolished and roofed above the second story with a pitched tiled roof.

The feeling of sturdiness and coolness on the lower level is due to the original building having walls that exceed 100 cm on the ground level and were built using porcelain in their mortar. The defensive character of the building is evident in the detailing of the openings and the gun holes (typical of the region) in the stone walls. A single story extension of inferior quality was added at the back of the property when it was separated from the complex. The house had undergone a series of distorting renovations during the 20th century.

The owners, a large Italian family wanted to create a home that could sleep up to 12 people at a time. This led to totally stripping the frame of all interventions and rebuilding the interiors in order to create a light airy and versatile set of bedrooms upstairs. The new bedrooms were tailored to cater for many sleeping arrangements, mezzanines and hidden beds in every possible corner adding to the complicity of the plans and the unique style of each bedroom.

The kitchen and living space that are on the lower level merge with the outdoor spaces into a large pleasant holiday home. Outdoor dining and relaxing is part of the daily routine.

The color scheme is based on cool grays and was developed for the woodwork flooring and outdoor elements to work with the natural color of the stonework.

The owners run a business for sailing boat furniture and rigs and a lot of the decoration is part of their extensive collection of naval artifacts.

This project was completed in 2011.

the byzantine ruin house

the byzantine ruin house

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Situated in the monastic village built to cater for the Aghia Sophia monastery this house incorporates part of a Byzantine ruin which has been integrated into the design of the house. The three bedroom house retains its original Byzantine footprint with a small addition to the south side for an extra bedroom and terrace above. In this project we managed to create a unique house which respects and maintains a link to its past forms and materials. The design was based on the proportions of the original house and the detailing of other houses in the village, incorporating carved stone elements that were unearthed during the preparation of the site. Ceramic fragments are built into the stonework reflecting its Byzantine relation.

The living area, central entrance and kitchen are upstairs and are an open plan design to take advantage of the extra height afforded under the open pitched roof. They connect to the terrace above the extension that has stunning views both to the sea and to the Taygetos mountains which overlook the village from the east. The bedrooms are on the lower level and have a direct connection to the outdoors that makes them feel summery and cool.

The project was completed in May 2006.

the kafeneion house

the kafeneion house

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This family property now belongs to a generation that, in its majority, lives abroad from Greece and returns to the village of Losna (Pigi) to reunite during the summer holidays.

The restoration of the property is intentionally designed to cater for this international cross-generational get-together, just as the original village café used to welcome the locals who gathered in the front room.

The property develops on two levels that have very different characters, reflecting the original segregated areas of community and family space.

Downstairs (old café) houses living areas and is arranged around the porch area that overlooks the upper village square while upstairs was designed around a big courtyard with the most amazing views down to the seafront. The space upstairs was remodeled to sleep as many as 6 people while a second sitting room was created with the astounding views down to the seafront as well as a balcony that oversees the entrance square.

The style of the house was tailored to merge the traditional and local feeling of the village houses with the cosmopolitan references that the younger returning generation brought. This combination of traditional materials and the more modern, minimal furniture and kitchen design have combined to produce an astonishing unique final result.

The project was completed in December 2015.

the well house

the well house

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This house is situated in the village of Lower Doloi, in Western Mani.

The restoration of the property included the creation of an independent guest annex bedroom with an en-suite shower room, and the addition of a bathroom and storage room for the main house.

The annex room meets the main house in a common courtyard, with a central old well. The aesthetics of the interior of the annex and of the refurbished and extended house contrast the stone that dominates on the exterior, creating a white canvas on which wooden elements, built-in or not, project. The intention is to create a soft and cozy feeling that reflects the traditional village house.

An important part of the restoration was the redesigning of the landscape, where a variety of different seating and walking areas were proposed, giving a choice of options depending on the weather and the hour of the day. The garden is orientated to the south with stunning views and therefore the design integrated both a covered veranda between the added bathroom and storage room and a freestanding pavilion with a bamboo roof, to provide shade and prolonged access to the views for outdoor summer life. The materials, construction elements and techniques are traditional to the area - stone walls of 50 cm thick, timber windows and byzantine ceramic roof tiles. These were often purchased from derelict buildings and integrated into the house in order to create the desired aesthetic.

the andros house

the andros house

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The island of Andros, that was the home of many wealthy ship owners and merchants until WWII, has a unique and rich architectural tradition, recognizable from the style of rural estates and the use of a type of dark grey slate for the stonework. 

This traditional stone built home had been uninhabited for over half a century and required serious renovation for use as a family holiday home. It was built on two levels with the lower level built entirely out of stone and formed onto the bedrock being a family winery with treadle and barrel storage. This level was excavated in order to offer extra headroom and transformed into guest rooms with the actual treadle turned into a shower room. The cave like cool feeling is due to the technique of building floors out of articulated stone slabs rather that timber beams that were scarce in the area.

The upper level, that offered such details as alcoves above the windows for silkworm cultivation, was rearranged around a new stairwell down to the basement and an open plan kitchen.

The external stonework was sandblasted and repointed to reveal its traditional stonework and architectural details around the windows and doors. New timber windows and doors were necessary as well as a new stone floor on the lower level.

The project was completed in July 2011.

the olive shop in kardamyli

the olive shop in kardamyli

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On Kardamyli high street, the Blauel family created the Olive Shop.

The Blauel firm is local and concentrates on Greek organic goods related to olives and olive oil. The challenge in this project was to promote the products in the very limited given space in a way that was in keeping with the traditional character of the village of Kardamyli.

We decided to adopt the style of the Greek traditional market shops that catered for a variety of functions including basic food, wine and gathering area as well as village shop - the Greek Pantopoleio. We designed cupboards inspired from these shops to line the back wall with products as well as a small preparation area. Indisputably, the long wooden table, made from a slice of a eucalyptus trunk, which was designed for this shop and manufactured by a local boat builder, accompanied by stools of the similar style, compose the most eye catching synthesis as they seem to invite you to discover the tasty world of Blauel. The result is a beautiful space with a hint of an early 20th century feeling together with the softness of timber and polished concrete flooring that look aged.

The white façade with the light blue frames and the grey stone create the perfect base for the graphic elements to stand out and has been a constant reminder that something new, when simple, can become timeless.

The project was completed in June 2014.

kepagi house

kepagi house

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This project was one of the first projects we completed in the area of Mani. It is a “build from scratch” project and was the result of extensive design research into stone masonry details and local styles and elements that have informed our work since.

The owners, a family who had been coming to the area for a long time, decided to build their own house through their love for the region. The design is defined by the main house, a 5 bedroom stone house on three levels. The main house was designed around an entrance water feature and is complimented by the additional elements of the complex - the guest annex, a result of the rebuilding of a derelict small dwelling, and the infinity pool next to the main house.  The complex is built in a steep olive grove, cut into large terraces down the hillside and the main house follows this natural line. The house is placed on one of the larger terraces and orientated to the south. An outdoor paved path connects all the above, surrounded by nature, with a view to the open sea.

The design tries to merge an overall traditional feeling with innovations, such as individually designed windows and doors, copper rails on the balconies, double height spaces and special constructional and decorative details of the interior space.

The project was completed in 2009.

Design team: Eleni Tsigarida, Jamie Anderson, Anna Kaneli, Spyros Nassainas.

aegeon hotel sounio

aegeon hotel sounio

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A hotel refurbishment that was completed in collaboration with Gavalas and Mourikis architects. The historical hotel under the impressive temple in Sounio was gutted and rebuilt fully. All items from floors to door handles and from key holders to lights and railings were designed and produced specifically for this hotel. Completed for the summer of 2004.