The Rusted Mill House is a project born of wandering, discovery and dream to turn this uninhabited rural complex into a holiday home.
Set in a desolate village, the property is comprised of three separate, adjacent volumes that sit on different levels. The structures, constructed around 1850, originally served a functional and historic lay out of animal shelter with storage on the ground floor and the main dwelling on the upper floor, with no internal connection. A unique feature situated in the heart of this house is a traditional olive mill; much of its original equipment existed almost entirely intact. It was decided the equipment would remain in the house and was restored through the advisory of the Benaki Museum’s Conservation Department. This space would become the center of connection between different levels, and spaces of the home.
The main entrance is now defined on the upper floor through an external staircase that leads to the terrace that looks out onto the mountain ridge and the coastline. The main living space settled traditionally on the upper floor is connected to the ground floor through an added staircase that is keeper to the “secret” of the house, the olive mill.
All stone works were restored as they originally existed, removing old concrete repairs and rebuilding what was ruined using traditional materials and techniques. The internal walls were refinished with natural mortar and the roof was rebuilt using the tiles that were on site, reused, refurbished and kept original. Extensions of simple and restricted volumes lined with COR-TEN steel were added to serve as links between the historic elements and the contemporary functional adjustments, emphasizing the different construction eras but also the continuity and development of the house through time.
A contemporary way of living is depicted in the implementation of the latest technology of KNX systems. This adds flexibility to the massive stone structure while allowing the interiors to stay simple.
*Rusted Mill House has won the “Special Mention” award in the German Design Awards in the category of Excellent Architecture and is currently on the long list of finalist in the on-going competition of the Dezeen Awards.
Images © Yiorgis Yerolympos
Architects/Engineers: Kokkaliari Eleanna, Pastras Dimitris