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Xerolithi House / Sinas Architects

Xerolithi House / Sinas Architects

© Yiorgos Kordakis© Yiorgos Kordakis© Yiorgos Kordakis© Yiorgos Kordakis+ 32

Serifos, Greece
  • Interior Design:Olga Ktena, George Sinas
  • City:Serifos
  • Country:Greece
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© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

Text description provided by the architects. The main focus of the design was to create a house that blends in its natural environment. An environment comprised of steep dirt and gravel slopes, dressed with scattered wild thorny bushes, and beautiful large rock formations. Though the most important existing elements, were the short stone retaining walls, locally called xerolithies, created a long time ago for land cultivation purposes.

© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis
Section
Section
© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

When one thinks of the Greek Islands and their vernacular architecture, scattered and stacked white boxes come to mind. The first step was to challenge this morphological preconception by imagining the main facades (front and back) of the house being formed as “xerolithies”. They start low and gradually develop a sufficient height for a house. They move gently closer and away of the slope and independently from one another, forming spaces in between them.

© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

To achieve this, all the functions of the house were placed sequentially making it long and narrow. The walls have a lightness that seems like they were affected by the strong Cycladic winds, like "ribbons in the air". To complete the "xerolithia" likeness, the roof of the house was covered with dirt and vegetation imitating the natural landscape.  This made the house almost invisible, especially when seen from behind and afar.

© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

Another important feature of the Cycladic rural house is the wooden pergola, which consisted of thick, raw, smooth, wooden beams and columns with a bamboo cover, all in their natural color. This structure appears also in the interior of the house, on the ceiling, following the traditional way of constructing roofs. This particular element was used along the entire length of the structure, inside and outside.

© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis
Floor plan
Floor plan
© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

The beams supporting this structure naturally could not be placed parallel to each other, instead, they follow the house’s curvy morphology, like vertebrae on a long spinal cord. As a result, the bamboo was knitted in a fishbone manner creating a unique pattern with beautiful shade textures. 

© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

The doors and windows are wooden and simple with a light olive color and the main exterior walls are stone with no joint mortar. Both these decisions follow the traditional style and technique.

© Yiorgos Kordakis
© Yiorgos Kordakis

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Cite: "Xerolithi House / Sinas Architects" 11 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/958354/xerolithi-house-sinas-architects> ISSN 0719-8884

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