Myrto Miliou Architects designed a residence in Syros, Cyclades which follows an architectural approach that initiates a dialogue between contemporary architecture and traditional Greek typology. Regional vernacular elements, such as the relationship between the building and the landscape, the sculptural qualities of light and the handmade stone masonry walls, were re-cast in modern terms. The geometry of the building follows that of the landscape, mimicking the stone-retaining walls that define the Greek island landscape. The 400 square meter building is divided into several distinct volumes that are diagonally stacked, thus fitting seamlessly into the topography of the site. The use of the excavation stone in the construction allows the building to further blend with the surrounding countryside. Each volume of the house is one level high, offering in this way easy access to the outdoor spaces.
Built on the boundary between a green, traditional settlement and a barren mountainside, the building appears at times embracing and at other times austere. The hard stone shell of the outside is gradually transformed as one enters the building. In the entrances and circulation spaces, the forms are simple and the materials used are still rough and cold. The increasing intensity of natural light guides the visitor to the main areas of the house where the light is abundant, the volumes are intricate and the materials are warmer. The comfort of the house is further enhanced by the sustainable building approach followed. The 60cm stone walls, planted roofs and insulation keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The placement of windows on adjacent walls creates natural ventilation, while rainwater is gathered in a cistern, to be used for the everyday needs of the residents.