The holiday retreat is located northeast of Santorini at Columbo, an area characterized by the active underwater volcano which lies 18 meters below sea level and raises 280 meters high from the bottom of the sea.
The building appears as a rock cast from the caldera of the volcano after a vigorous eruption while its mass and skin have been sculptured over time by the forceful seaside winds and the erosion of the sea water.
The residence reinterprets the vernacular architecture of the island into a modern vocabulary while its long and irregular form is defined by the narrowness of the site and the intention to provide vistas towards the sea and the horizon from all the rooms.
The volcano became famous in 1650 from the explosion which was accompanied by a tsunami known as the ¨The time of the Great Evil” and the creation a few years later of the” Virgin of the Good” church constructed to protect the locals from future natural disasters.
The design of the house tries to capture the history and the strong elements of natural decomposition of the landscape by the thick layers of volcanic lava and intensity of the strong winds.
The facade of the building gives the impression of an eroded shell which in some places has been drilled by the forceful winds. The understanding of daily and seasonal positions of the sun informed the shape and form of the openings of the house depending on the orientation and function of each room.
The intention of the architectural design is to redefine the typological characteristics of the traditional architecture of Santorini and integrate them into the design through a modern vocabulary. The digging of the mass of the residence from inside out and vice versa refers to the local construction technique of underground houses and is responsible for the sculptural form of the building which resembles a rock hurled from the volcano.