Few countries in the world can boast an architectural pedigree like Greece. With structures like the Parthenon dating back to ancient times, the country’s historic style has influenced building designs around the world for over two millennia. Beyond the Classical style, Greece is also famous for the white stucco structures known as Cycladic architecture (think the cliffside villages of Santorini). So in a country full of rich architecture, how do you create something new?
That was the challenge for Swedish architectural firm OOAK. Located on the island of Karpathos, Patio House is unlike the standard Grecian home. While Karpathos is filled with the famous Cycladic style of brightly painted homes, OOAK went in the opposite direction, using the natural rocky landscape as inspiration.
Perched precariously on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea and the popular windsurfing beach Afiarti, Patio House was designed to blend in with the land rather than stand out. It was important to the owners that the home not compete with the natural beauty of the landscape. This resulted in a Brutalist Revival style home – a simple gray concrete structure topped with a gravel roof. The basic square shape of the home doesn’t mean Patio House is boring, far from it. OOAK added in dramatic features that turned this vacation home into something truly special.
The rugged cliff was a challenging site to work with. The solution was to cantilever part of the home out over the hillside. This not only created a visually intriguing home, it allowed the team at OOAK to preserve as much of the land as possible. The cliff also provided a unique opportunity to make an outdoor living space. Situated below the home, the outdoor living room acts as a connection between the house and the sea. Accessed by a set of stairs that lead from inside the home and down under the cantilevered section, the patio includes an outdoor kitchen, dining area, and lounge space with unobstructed views of the water below.
Patio House blurs the lines between indoors and out. The entry features a massive sliding wooden door that, once open, reveals an interior courtyard. Beyond the courtyard, the public space of the home is an open plan family room with a living area, dining space, and kitchen. Beyond the kitchen there are two bedrooms and a bathroom while on the other side of the home is the master suite. All of the rooms feature massive windows that frame beautiful views of the water and hillside. The part of the home that cantilevers out was turned into an open-air dining room, leaving diners feeling like they are floating above the water.
The home is decked out in a minimalist Mediterranean style. Bright white walls, stone tile flooring, and warm toned furnishings reflect the traditional Cycladic style while still feeling fresh and modern.
The result is a bright and airy home perfect for relaxing and taking in the views after a day on the water.
To get a taste of the Greek islands in your own life (since we all can’t own a cliffside home there), try out this great Greek short rib recipe.
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