Architects: decaARCHITECTURE
Location: Antiparos,
Project Team: Alexandros Vaitsos, Carlos Loperena, Elena Zabeli, Kyle Gudsell, Katerina Chryssanthopoulou
Owner: Oliaros AE (Antiparos Design Projects)
Structural Engineers: KYMA / Manos Kyriazis
Mechanical Engineers: TEKEM / George Kavoulakos
Contractor: Kataskevastiki Topometriki Parou ABETE / Nikos Kaggelis
Landscape Designers: Doxiadis+ / Thomas Doxiadis
Project Area: 237 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Erieta Attali, Ed Reeve,

The design of the house is a dual response to the particular topography of the site and to the rural domestication techniques that in the past shaped the raw ‘Cycladic island’ landscape.

In the past, dry-rubble stone walls domesticated the land for agricultural purposes and were the most prominent man-made interventions in the landscape. The walls retained earth and transformed a steep topography into a series of arable plateaus. Today, the Cycladic islands are being reshaped by a very different force: the demand for holiday homes. The design uses the precedent of earth-retaining stone walls to create an artificial landscape that is both rural and domestic in use.

floor plan

The site is a natural saddle where two slopes meet. In the North-South axis the slope rises between two hills while in the East-West axis the slope drops, opening to the sea views. Two long stone walls bridge the hills allowing the house to nestle in the space within while maintaining the continuity of the landscape which flows over it. This simple strategy blurs the edges of the house and makes its mass imperceptible within the broader skyline of the island.

The presence of the house is revealed by the four courtyards carved into the flowing landscape. The courtyards separate the living spaces into five interior areas, an arrangement which resembles the fifth side of a dice. As a result, the house is protected from the elements yet is full of natural light, generous views and a compact but rich relationship to its setting.

section 01

The name of the house itself, Aloni, refers to the remains of a crop-harvesting circle that was found and preserved as part of the agricultural past of the site.

Cite: "Aloni / decaARCHITECTURE" 11 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Love it. Beautifully sculpted into the site and with interesting ideas towards adapting the way spaces work to an unusual landscape. Especially love the sloping garden.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    for the most part I really like this project.
    what I don’t like is the limited views that you have from the interior. This is a view picturesque site yet the only view you have from the living room is the “courtyard” slot cut thru the structure. the side walls are litterally blinders which cut you off from the surrounding terrain. the most buitiful views are hidden behind these little punch openings. the project description sais “generous views” but that’s really not the case.
    seems like the designer spent all his energy making sure that the building blends in with the surroundings (which is does wonderfully) and not enough time thinking about the occupants.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I would probably agree with you if this house was in a different context but in the Cyclades the windows are traditionally small and it is forbidden by the law to have huge openings anyway. The small windows keep the interior cool despite the hot sun in the summer. It is the most appropriate thing to do for this specific climate. These small windows are set in a row to maximize the view..

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