[COMMENDATION AR HOUSE 2010] Deca Architecture’s hidden dwelling is a riposte to the archipelago’s vulgar overdevelopment. Photography by Julia Klimi and Erieta Attali
In yesteryear a postcard proclaiming ‘a summer cruising around the Aegean’ would read as elegant, a little boastful, but certainly a single entendre. And yet today it could seem seamy; especially if postmarked Mykonos, the renowned ‘gay island’, which markets itself on casual carnality.
Mykonos is, however, but one of 220 Greek islands in the Cyclades cluster. While the smallest remain uninhabited, a handful have witnessed tourism disfigure their natural ruggedness into a whitewashed cubist topography.
Aloni, a house on the central island of Antiparos, is a riposte to the archipelago’s vulgar overdevelopment. Its architectural expression looks to man’s earlier markings, the dry-stone walling that created a landscape of arable plains. In the saddle of two slopes, Deca Architecture has erected two such stone walls. Set apart in parallel, they create a planted bridge between hills, beneath which is hidden a single-level 240m² dwelling.
This reveals itself through four courtyards that puncture the plateau, allowing a quintet of bedrooms to be arrayed at the corners of a central living/dining room. This social space opens to the west on to a pool, and on the opposite side to the spectacular expansive seascape.
Architect Deca Architecture, Athens, Greece
Structural Engineer KYMA/Manos Kyriazis
Mechanical Engineer TEKEM/George Kavoulakos