The island of Karpathos is known for its beautiful staggered villages with their shared roofs and balconies.

The site for this project – in the picturesque village of Diafani – is no different. The lot itself is partially situated on the rooftop of an existing building. This rooftop offers an incredible 180 degree vista with views of the port of Diafani to the east, the Aegean Sea to the north, and the settlement of Diafani to the west.

How can we create a house on top of a building while maintaining the rooftop feeling of the site?

A primary design goal was to maintain the outdoor rooftop feeling of the site while creating a house on it. The site is transformed into a private viewing point, a veranda, embraced by a perimetrical wall, offering maximum privacy and protection from the winds. An enclosed volume suspended above the veranda, designed with references to the vernacular architecture of the island, provides shade for the rooftop and hosts all of the house’s private spaces. The house’s social functions are in an open plan on the veranda, a summer room that has an undefined indoor/outdoor character thanks to the 13.8m opening with only structural support the perimetrical walls.

The views and the proximity to the sea, as well as the location in the vernacular settlement, are the most important features of the house, and the interior is designed to accentuate and enrich this experience. A collage of colours and materials as well as the play with heights and shapes in all the rooms anchor the house in its surroundings and maximise the potential of the otherwise small rooms.

Design Team: Marie Kojzar, Maria Papafigou, Johan Annerhed, Jarlath Cantwell, Kuba Kolec, Julia Moore, Mikaela Steby Stenfalk, Patricia Fakiolaki

Images © Yiorgos Kordakis