Greek island house celebrates minimalist life
Architecture studio React composes KITE, an ode to Greek minimalism on the Cycladic island of Paros
The Aegean Islands in Greece are known for their strong winds – and the Cycladic island of Paros is no exception. It was this element that helped define the shape and layout of a striking new home designed by Athens- and Paros-based Greek architecture studio React – drawing on the surrounding environment and island lifestyle to create a cocoon for minimalist life. The project, named KITE, is a piece of crisp, minimalist architecture arranged around a central courtyard and set in a way the emphasises horizontality, in keeping with the landscape and local building fabric.
The site is located on a gentle slope a stone’s throw from the shore, overlooking the sea and the smaller island of Antiparos. Within it, the smart, white volumes of the house negotiate the irregularly shaped plot, while offering a feeling of protection for the residents. ‘The central courtyard acts as a nucleus, with immediate reference to the closed spaces and the environment: it is an organic part of the whole that retains both privacy and transparency,’ say the architects, Yiorgos Spiridonos and Natasha Deliyianni.
Cycladic simplicity for a minimalist life
A swimming pool and garden, sparsely populated by native vegetation, drawing on the island’s wider natural setting, complete the complex. Meanwhile, two ‘promenades’ give ‘the feeling of a small settlement’, the architects explain, opening up views and pathways as needed to improve circulation, manage winds and ensure the ‘disarming simplicity with the environment’ takes centre stage.
The pared-down approach continues inside. Plastered and painted brickwork are matched by painted timber doors and windows. Industrial floors and metal pergolas add an element of roughness and durability to the whole, which contains living space and guest suites on the ground level and a master bedroom on a small upper floor above the living areas.
Transparency, nature and a contextual minimalism that draws on the island’s atmosphere of Cycladic simplicity dominate in this holiday home – ensuring relaxation and serenity come hand in hand with a showstopping architectural adventure. §