Ioannis Exarchou converts 100-year-old
Greek stable into holiday house

| 9 comments
 

The cave-like stone interior of this former stable on Tinos Island, Greece, has been renovated by architect Ioannis Exarchou to create a small holiday house (+ slideshow).

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

Athens-based architect Ioannis Exarchou retained the original structure of the stable when designing Retreat in Tinos Island, plastering only the interior walls, inserting a new floor and filling gaps in the exterior stonework with mortar.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

Perched on the side of a hill with views to the surrounding mountains and valley below, the house's rough, dark exterior built from local stone blends in with the landscape.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

"My main objective was to retain and preserve the cavernous unique feeling of the space," architect Ioannis Exarchou told Dezeen. "The design's objective was to create a summer retreat for two with a minimum cost."

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

Large stones and thick tree branches are set into the house's ceiling while the walls are covered with a smooth, white plaster. The floor has been covered over with coloured concrete.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

The main entrance next to the front courtyard leads into a small hallway with wooden storage cupboards.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

A set of stairs leads down into the combined bedroom and living room, with a small window at the base of the bed offering views out over the courtyard.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

A rough concrete benchtop with a sink for food preparation was built by the architect and installed into the rear of the kitchen space. A wooden bench with matching low stools is positioned against the opposite wall.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

Exarchou also built an open shower, separated from the kitchen by a concrete partition wall, next to a toilet room.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

He explained the project is part of a case study on how ruined traditional buildings can be rehabilitated.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

"These traditional stone-made buildings offer a great lesson in architecture, they have a unique human scale and they integrate into the landscape with a low impact to the environment," he added.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

Photography is by Sylvia Diamantopoulos.

Here's a short description from the architect:


Retreat in Tinos Island

The work is a response to a requirement of vacation - temporary residence in an abandoned stable.

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

The programme conforms to the limitations imposed by the elaborate stone building. It consists of three areas: an oblong which accommodates user functions (food preparation, table, hygiene uses) and which is linked with the antechamber (distribution of movements, cupboards, entrance).

Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou

These two areas, in a 'Γ' arrangement, enclose a third, thus forming an almost square ground plan, on a lower level of which the function of rest is accommodated. The layout is completed with the arrangement of the courtyard, the wood-burning oven, and exterior access.

Floor plan of Retreat-in-Tinos-Island-by-Ioannis-Exarchou
Floor plan - click for larger image
  • Rae Claire

    Looks like a place that would be hot in summer, so the darkish cave might be a welcome relief, especially if it stays cool inside. Certainly blends in with landscape.

  • Marja Jauhiainen

    In 1980 I rented a henhouse on beautiful island called Anafi. Thirty+ years after I remember those days as some of the best of my life.

  • villainesta

    Nice cabinetry. Otherwise…

  • Enef Gamer

    Nice, but I probably would not stay there for personal reasons.

  • Giulio

    Ulysses probably lived in a place like this, I admire it!

    • guest

      He could escape the Trojan War in comfort here.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Something is attractive about this.

  • The Big Black & White Zebra

    This is outstanding. The balance between old and new, style and functionality, comfort and compromise. I’m not sure you could make a place like this better given this kind of brief.

  • J&G

    Back to basics :)