Location: Ios island, Greece
Area: 150 m2
Architects: gfra architecture
Project team: Tasos Gousis, Joost Frijda, Eddie Roberts, Fotini Anagnostou
Photography: © Panagiotis Voumvakis
In a quiet, remote slope of Ios Island, far from the sea, we were asked to design a summer house for a couple. The intention was simple: the summer house to be the ultimate resting and relaxation space, offering contact with the nature of the island while aiming to the unobstructed view of the sea.
The design is inspired by the underground architecture, reminiscing a cave. The summer house is developed on one level of about 100 square meters on a slightly sloping plot of 4 acres. There is only one facade facing west, while the others are covered by the slope. The roof is planted with prickly pears, providing insulation while bonding the building to the surrounding landscape.
The facade is lined with local stone, built in such a way that refers directly to the existing stone walls of the plot, integrating in a way with the environment. The interior, in contrast to the exterior style of the building, has been treated with modern design. The kitchen, the dining room, the living room and the bedroom are actually one large space. This feeling is enhanced by the common material that was used both for walls and floors, a forged cement in a soft gray hue.
The natural indirect lighting coming from the skylights increases the luminosity of the premises, giving a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The semi-open space right outside the dining room of the summer house, along with the barbecue under the pergola, are a focal point for the couple and their friends, that want to enjoy the sea view.
All images courtesy of gfra architecture| © Panagiotis Voumvakis
The office gfra architecture was founded in 2004 by Tasos Gousis, Joost Frijda and Eddie Roberts as a result of many years of cooperation in previous associations where they participated with the major Greek projects of the previous decade, such as projects for the Olympic Games, the new Athens airport and the Acropolis Museum competition. Joost Frijda is Dutch and has received his degree from the Delft University of Technology, while both Tasos Gousis and Eddie Roberts, who has a Welsh background, are graduates from the NTUA (Athens Polytechnic), just as Fotini Anagnostou who becomes part of the team in 2007.
The multinational background of the team makes them search for new ideas and forms in architecture, to give a ‘European’ spirit to their design. This has been recognized by the numerous publications and participations in exhibitions such as the biennale of Young Greek Architects and the international Piranesi exhibition. At the same time they have a realistic approach and through close cooperation with the client and the consulting engineers, aim of the office is to maintain the quality of design and technology of architecture to a maximum.
The many specializations of the office include: housing, hotels, education, offices, cinema/theatre, retail, interior design, public urban/green spaces, re-use/restoration etc. Many projects are situated in the Athens region, but work is done all over Greece and abroad. Project responsibility includes both design and supervision, and can lead from the initial concept, through obtaining the building permit, to the possibility to organize the complete construction process.
114 73 Athens, Greece
T +30 210 6427972
F +30 210 6427203