2014 - 2016
Architectural Design: x2architecture
Project Management: PMA Engineering
Structural Design: PMA Engineering
E/M Installations: ELTEME
Interior Design: Paola Navone
photos: Louisa Nikolaidou , x2architecture
Located two kilometers from Fira, in the area of Messaria, on an 8,000 square meter plot of land, lies the luxurious estate EROSANTORINI. From this point at an altitude of around two hundred meters above the port of Athinio the view to Palia Kameni is astonishing.
Scope of the design was the creation of a private estate of the highest standards. This included the integration of six already existing reinforced concrete building skeletons that were located, at a lower level, on the west side of the plot.
The natural landscape begins to ascend from the street level on the east, continues to the center of the plot and then turns downhill towards the west, leading to the volcanic caldera of the island.
Α retaining wall made of black volcanic rock, in a crooked line shape, unrolls like a ribbon and defines the two levels. This rough black stone wall, on the one hand preserves the natural terrain of the eastern uphill slope and defines a walking zone, while on the west, it embraces the lower level of the building volumes, providing increased privacy and quietness.
The eastern walking zone, formed by plants selected from the arid Therean landscape, creates a passage through the local flora of the island, leading to resting and viewing points. At the end of this route, at the highest point, a white chapel surrounded by radially arranged vines, is discovered.
The retaining wall breaks its fortification-styled continuity, forming an open trench that marks the entrance path to the estate. The transition of the visitor through this open corridor, flanked by tall black stone walls where light alternates with shade, works as an architectural “initiation” course towards the revelation of the spectacular sea horizon.
At the end of this course, all five independent ground-floor suites are located on a single level, having a 180 degree view of the Aegean. The black dry stone in sharp contrast with the purity of the white volumes, forms “inward-looking” private backyards nesting at the rear of the buildings, protected from the gazes as well as the winds, thus extending the privacy of the interiors.
The pure white volumes of the five buildings refer to the Cycladic Cubism, with the dominant element of the architecture of Santorini being the framing of the openings with local solid carved stone (pori). The exterior surfaces that surround these volumes are made of grey cement floor that served as the “canvas” for white painted carpets, of different patterns, inspired from mediterranean forms and textures.
In the whitewashed inner shell of the single-room suites, the architectural design with its morphological choices is in complete harmony with the interior design and decorating options, creating an atmosphere of "sophisticated simplicity". In a spirit of eclecticism, - as indeed was accustomed in the old captains’ houses of the island - different furniture and objects, most being creations of international design firms, compose a unique atmosphere in each space.
The main outdoor area in front of the buildings extends on a single level. From this point onwards, water "stratification” begins and descends three levels towards Caldera. The central V-shaped pool is followed by a second one, of smaller size and depth on a lower level and ends in front, with a shallow canal with water sun beds that provide absolute isolation. The end of this canal deepens leading to a white water cave. Here, on the edge of the cliff, the visitor feels on the absolute limit, where architecture intersects the horizon.