When we think of homes in Santorini, we immediately visualise pure white stone structures, a blank canvas positioned tightly amongst other white stones, like polished pebbles on a beach sitting blissfully under the sun looking out to the Aegean Sea. However, we are beginning to see an increasing number of subtle variations in tonality that adds an additional warmth to the smooth stone structures while still maintaining that quintessential minimalist aesthetic we are so fond of seeing throughout this beautiful little island.
Architecture firm, Kapsimalis, have designed two holiday residences located in the traditional village of Imerovigli. They are parts of a single old house that was destroyed during the 1956 earthquake. The remaining caves inside the volcanic earth that used to compose the old house are reconstructed, keeping unchanged the initial architectural form of it. The entrance, at pedestrian street level of the village, leads to the terrace of the houses and through two exterior staircases to the level of the houses’ yards, as it emerges, due to the fact that the plot is downstream and placed on the steep incline of the island’s Caldera.
The existing caves are preserved and redesigned in order to be adjusted to the functional needs of the residences. The two houses consist of a living spaces, bedrooms, and bathrooms, in an open plan layout, which gives the interior space to breathe in a typically warm climate. The pale beige colour that covers the vaulted walls and the matt white cement of the floor aim to create a sense of serenity, purity, and continuity of the interior space and to bring out the curves and the random and imperfect forms of it. Some pieces of natural wood, marble, and matt earthy colours are featured throughout the interior and complete the build in furnishing.
The exterior staircases are coiled and affiliated with the exterior pools of the houses, in order for the pools to be adjusted to the building in a discreet but playful way. And it is the exterior of these residences that offer a particularly striking aesthetic. Subtle contrasts of the pure white walls with the beige tones of the steps, terrace, and furniture work beautifully together. Summer is here and there is other place we’d rather be.