couvelas/kouvelas blends summer house into greek island's cliffside landscape

couvelas/kouvelas blends summer house into greek island's cliffside landscape

couvelas/kouvelas placed a summer house in the middle of a steep hillside at andros island, greece, its only neighbor being an old lighthouse on the southern edge of the slope. the cliffside landscape led to splitting the house into three independent smaller volumes, scattering the areas through the site.


all images © erieta attali



the architects designed a void between the volumes to form the center point of the composition between the three building blocks. this way, the built open space blocks the prevailing north winds and shades the courtyards. the void frames the views, and leads guests to discover new areas of the house.




the solids and voids create a dialogue with the island’s traditional local architecture. the geometries echo the andriotic settlements, characterized by a loose formation of independent structures. the shapes also reference the landscape itself, where ravines alternate with ridges as they slope towards the sea. the house also alludes to the scattered reefs around the bay, detaching from the island creating a new ‘topos’.




the house was built using the local schist, a material native to the island, which connects the construction to its context. the forms are embedded in the schist in a way that resonates with construction systems used in the past. the supporting walls, free standing walls and columns are all made of schist stone, while the landscape and shaded courtyards are laid with schist slabs. out of the rough schist shell, treated as a continuation of the ground, emerge the three main volumes. their construction is conventional with concrete, bricks and plaster.




the building’s rendered skin, less rough than schist walls, has the warm colors of the surrounding earth, deep red, ochre and gray. the internal surfaces of plaster have a smooth effect to contrast the rough outside. the bathrooms are lined with marble in shades of pink, while floors are covered with oak planks. warm and inviting internal spaces are formed reflecting those of sea shells: rough outside while smooth and soft on the inside.



project info:


project name: summer house at andros island, greece

architecture firm: couvelas/kouvelas

project location: charakas, gavrio, island of andros, greece

photo credits: erieta attali, agnes couvelas

lead architect: agnes couvelas

structural engineers: giannis korialos, vasilios konstantinou

landscape: agnes couvelas


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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