The newest addition to the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022, our annual list of exciting emerging practices from across the globe, is Greek studio ARP - Architecture Research Practice. Headed by architect Argyro Pouliovali, with offices in Athens and the small island of Antiparos, this is a studio that enjoys blending global influences and Greek traditions and craft. 

Who: ARP

ARP stands for Architecture Research Practice, and was set up in 2014 by architect Argyro Pouliovali, with offices in Athens and the small island of Antiparos. Pouliovali, who trained at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and ETH Zurich, also brings experience gained at the offices of Meili Peter Architekten in Zurich and decaArchitecture in Athens, to her dynamic, fast-emerging practice. This is a studio that aims to offer a fresh take on contemporary Greek architecture, balancing 20th-century modernist teachings, 21st-century global influences, and the traditional local vernacular and what it means for the Greek built environment of today. 

ARP’s portfolio contains an impressive collection of homes, including APS House (which won an honourable mention in the ‘first project by a young architect’ category at the Greek Architecture Awards organised by DOMA), Avlakia House (pictured), and Papyrella House (a finalist in the Greek Architecture Awards by DOMA). The studio often designs furniture and products for some of its residential work too, always tailor-made for each location. As a result, ARP aims to soon launch a made-to-order furniture line that will encompass tables, desks and chairs for indoor or outdoor use. 

White geometries of Greek island home designed by ARP architects

What: Avlakia House

Its setting between two gorges (‘avlakia’, in Greek) helped inspire this house’s name. Located in the idyllic, compact island of Antiparos, the house offers a contemporary take on housing in the Cycladic archipelago. Appearing monolithic and abstractly sculptural at first glance, as well as relatively small, due to clever design and hidden, underground areas, this is in fact a generous structure, containing a rather large programme: the main house and a guest house (seven bedrooms in total), two pools, generous exterior areas, and substantial auxiliary spaces. ‘A hybrid between a building and an earthwork, deciding what to reveal and what to hide underground was a balancing act between the human experience, and environmental and cultural preservation,’ says the architect. 

The house’s main, clean and white volume was designed to bring to mind a retaining wall – a common feature across the Greek islands. This way, it sits harmoniously in its setting, at home in the region’s traditional architecture as well as topological characteristics. The home’s seemingly austere, orthogonal appearance is balanced by a pergola which, wrapped in leafy climbing plants, offers an organic spatial juxtaposition. Inside, local building techniques, crafts and materials, such as stone and marble, were used to enhance the building’s relationship with its locale, as well as support the region’s economy. Passive cooling through shading, insulation and natural ventilation plays a big part in managing the house’s energy consumption. 

White house and swimming pool reflection at greek island home designed by ARP

Why: Architects Directory 2022

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years, the project has showcased inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 22nd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.

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Outdoor living space at Greek island home
Minimalist living space in Antiparos house
Minimalist architecture and blue views at Aegean island house