Located in one of the central valleys of Kea island, a large open-air house was nestled on the edge of a sparse green oak forest, designed by architects Alexandros Fotakis & Nicoletta Caputo. Following a new path that crosses the garden, small rest areas, clearings, steps, passages, and some new endemic fruit trees found their place during the construction. Designed with minimal intervention in mind, stone terraces are repaired, while others are completely redefined using materials scattered, continuing a centuries-old practice of organizing the landscape. A simple, family, countryside lifestyle is expressed by the use of specific architectural devices: a raised bed-storage, a marble sink-window, a hearth-kitchen counter, and an extendible bathroom. The new volume acts as a pause in the continuity of the terraces, defining two new outdoor spaces with different spatial qualities, relationships with the landscape, orientations, and shading from the surrounding oaks. Its expression follows the local architectural language as a basis, enriching it with contemporary elements. The final result is a product of the on-site collaborative conception of the architects and local craftsmen. Remnants of one construction phase are incorporated into the design and used as common solutions for the organization of the space. To ensure consistency, a charter was developed during the process of construction, defining the basic ethical framework for the various architectural choices. A series of simple design rules allow for details to develop on-site, as a result of the joint intelligence of architects and craftsmen, giving the project its special character.
Garden with a room in Kea island by Alexandros Fotakis & Nicoletta Caputo
Images © Alina Lefa