kapsimalis architects carves and elevates land to create residence in santorini vineyard

kapsimalis architects carves and elevates land to create residence in santorini vineyard

kapsimalis architects adds yet another architectural alteration to the scenic hills of santorini. this time, the architects designed a house located within a vineyard in the central part of the greek island. the site has breathtaking views facing the sea to the east and fira, the island’s capital, to the west. inspired by the surrounding landscape, the architects wanted to incorporate the land itself into the residence’s design and create a mediterranean mirage.




to achieve the illusion of levitating land over a residence, the architects cut a ‘piece of land’, measuring 20m x 10m x 3m (65ft x 32ft x 9ft), removed and lifted it off the ground to make space for the residential areas, which reflect its surroundings. this artificial earth is a sculpted and textured volume meant to imitate the forms of the natural erosion of the volcanic rocks and the excavated traditional caves. the mass sits on a delicate mirror-clad volume, appearing as a see through space that blends harmoniously with the scenery.




the ground floor, level with the rest of the site, sits under the artificial earth as an open plan space, camouflaging into the landscape. it includes the dining and living rooms, the kitchen, a master bedroom, and a bathroom. an exterior lounge yard with an elongated swimming pool is accessed from the ground floor, and lie on the east side of the house. the main entrance is on the west side of the ground floor as well as the access to the attic and basement. the basement, at 3m (9ft) below ground, accommodates the utility rooms, storage and mechanical equipment rooms.




the mass of the roof, elevated at 3.20m (10ft) above the ground level, hosts the attic and office space, both privileged with unobstructed views. the thick walls and earthy texture create a feeling of being underground, yet at an elevated height over the ground. due to its massive nature, the designers carved vaulted roofs, pyramidal shapes and slit openings out of the volume to bring in natural light into the ground floor’s spaces.




atop the artificial earth roof, vines are planted as a continuation of the natural landscape. in context of the natural presence and absence of the building in the vineyard, the elevated roof’s section shows the earth’s layers, colors and textures that resemble the geological composition of the existing underground volcanic soil. to oppose the dense, soil-like mass, the ground floor is covered by sliding mirror frames, visually eliminating it from the context. the play of contrasting materials creates the illusion of a piece of sculpted earth hovering over the land.




the architects intended for the building to become an integral part of its natural surroundings. in addition to the exterior’s surfaces referencing the landscape, the interiors’ color palette follows the same concept. in the interior space, the color of the plaster on the walls and ceilings, as well as the industrial cement floors imitate the earthy shades of the outer shell. the fixed partition walls are lined by natural oak and the mobile furniture pieces blend into the building’s materiality. by designing a building so connected to its environment, kapsimalis architects attempts to propose an architectural solution that relates to the surroundings in a conflicting, yet harmonious way. 


kapsimalis-architects-vineyard-house-santorini-greece-06-20-2019-designboomground floor plan

attic floorplan


terrace floorplan


basement floorplan





project info:


design: kapsimalis architects

visualization: antonis tzortzis



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

  • Great visual – good thinking. Basement plan makes a great deal of sense for privacy and quiet. Well done.


    Jimmy Xi says:

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