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Rural House in Kythera


Type: Residential    

Design: Panagiotis Papanikolaou   

Construction: M3 

Planning Permission Application: Nikolaos Magoulas (M3)

Structural Design: Sotiris Magoulas (M3)

Location: Kythera

Year: 2023   

Size: 100 sqm

The house is located in the small village of Spilies, in Kythera and it is a typical sample of the island's rural traditional architecture. It dates back to 1910 and architectural elements such as the stone walls, the thick chimneys and the small openings are evident characteristics of its fortified nature. The complex consists of the main building, which was historically the house of the family and a smaller building that the family used for producing and baking bread.

​During its long life, the house had suffered from several interventions that had altered its architectural character. Therefore, one of the main goals of the intervention was to restore the house’s exterior form according to its original state and the local architectural language. In terms of plan, the two front rooms of the main house were joined, now forming a unified space that hosts the living space, the kitchen and the dining area, while the secondary building was transformed into a guest house, retaining its traditional wood fired oven that remains its most important element.

​As the house is located on a sloping landscape, a route with several levels and steps leads to the courtyard, gradually revealing the view towards the Kytherean landscape. The courtyard, which is formed between the two buildings creates a dialogue between them and becomes the core of the composition. The two buildings are also joined with a lightweight steel pergola which differentiates itself from the existing heavy structures and provides shade, while also creating a framed view towards the landscape.

Morphologically, all the traditional elements of the house were retained, while the chimneys, that had almost collapsed, were redesigned according to the local architectural vocabulary. Moreover, it was also important to differentiate volumetrically the small latter additions that had occurred through the years. Therefore, the height of the additional volume was reduced, creating a hierarchy of main and secondary volumes.

Natural, traditional materials such as stone tiles for the floor, coloured plaster for the exterior walls and forged cement for the bathroom walls. were preferred in order to give a timeless quality to the design. The 'quiet' colour palette that was selected, aims to integrate the buildings with the existing landscape externally, while it also works in harmony with the important architectural elements of the house internally, such as the stone tiles and the timber roof.

The project participated at the 11th Biennale of Young Greek Architects, that was organised by the Hellenic Institute of Architecture in Thessaloniki, while it also won the BigSee Architecture Award 2024.

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