With a series of parallel adjoining rooms, architect and Columbia University professor Lydia Xynogala raised this home in Achladies, where the different rooms face the ocean.
Xynogala built the House in Skiathos on a slope along the Greek island’s Aegean coast. She used retaining walls to compose the backbone of the home’s three sections, a common feature in the surrounding Mediterranean landscape.
Situated on a sloping triangular site facing the sea, each room sits at a different elevation following the topography and contains a dedicated program.
Access to the entry volume is located at the highest level of the site. A set of stairs within a narrow corridor makes the slope flow into the house.
This entry condition constitutes the first interior experience of the house. The larger volumes step downwards towards the water in a sequence of planes
This house fans out to offer to almost every room the seascape of Achladies.
The public spaces of the house are located in the centre, master bedroom and guest rooms are on either side.
Each space is focused on a large opening to the south, contemplating the sea, and another one to the north, looking towards the slope. These openings provide efficient cross ventilation for each room.
The east and west facades that face the road and the colliding buildings have no openings. That helps to protect the interior from the heat of the sun.
Sliding doors through the double walls mark the passage from one space to the next. “The notion of a ‘cut’ through the solid walls is emphasised by the grey marble of the thresholds,” she added.
In the interior at adjoining walls double up: built-in furniture and storage spaces; within them are desks, bathroom sink, plate dresser, artwork display. These built-in furniture are custom designed and are arranged along the centerline of the plan creating a dynamic sequence.
“The concept of ‘aggregate’ was a generator of form and selection of materials,” said the architect. “Aggregation of volumes, aggregate in the raw concrete walls, on the terrazzo floor, roofs filled with gravel and plants.”
Xynogala aimed to draw upon the history of the region with use of terrazzo, marble, and plaster render throughout the home. These are very familiar in older Greek residential interiors.
Applying these traditional materials to contemporary spaces, and unusual colours, allows to create combinations that are not so familiar.
Photographies by Yiorgis Yerolymbos