Santorini Island retreat by Kapsimalis Architects features three pools
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Santorini Island retreat by Kapsimalis Architects features rooftop and underground pools

Greek office Kapsimalis Architects has renovated a small white house on the cliffs of a Greek island, adding two roof terraces with plunge pools, and a third and more sizeable swimming pool in the basement (+ slideshow).

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

Kapsimalis Architects converted a small property on the cliffside town of Fira, on the volcanic island of Santorini, Greece, to create the two-bedroom holiday home.

The house is split into two small volumes located on either side of a courtyard, on a densely built plot beside the coast.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

The architects added two terraces and large windows to foster better connections between interior and exterior spaces.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

"The connection between indoor and outdoor is achieved through the fact that the walls and the floor inside the house displays the same material as the exterior surfaces, finished in a local technique of white cement mortar," Alexandros Kapsimalis told Dezeen.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

The white mortar building is arranged over two storeys, with a lower-level bedroom, bathroom and swimming pool sunken partially into the rockface and a further bedroom on the floor above.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

The kitchen and dining area is located in a separate single-storey volume facing the sea.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

A wide arched recess in the wall of the living area encloses a kitchen sink, while the oven and fridge are hidden in alcoves to either side.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

The dining space is minimally dressed with white furniture and is bracketed by two large glass doors.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

One set of doors provides views and access to a terrace overlooking the sea, while the other leads to a courtyard and to the ground and upstairs bedrooms.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

In the ground floor bedroom, an archway positioned like a headboard behind the bed frames a view of an indoor swimming pool.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

The pool is sunken into the floor of a turquoise-lit room with a low vaulted ceiling that gives the space a cave-like appearance.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

Outside, a set of steps rises from the courtyard and splits at a landing, turning in one direction towards a sun deck and swimming pool on top of the kitchen, and in the opposite direction to the first floor bedroom.

Here, the bed is positioned on a platform level with a large window to take advantage of sea views.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

"The main intention of the project was the design of large openings, as much as possible, in order to offer a panoramic view, sunlight and a direct relation between interior and exterior spaces," said the architects.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

A bedside table and bench are carved into the platform, while rounded alcoves in the bedroom wall are used as wardrobes and for a bathroom sink.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

An arched glazed doorway leads out of the bedroom down a set of narrow white steps to another small pool.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimali

Pale orange triangular awnings, contrasting the stark white facades of surrounding housing, are hung over the doorways to screen the terraces and glazing from the sun.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis

Photography is by Julia Klimi and Stella Kritikou.

A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis
First floor plan – click for larger image
A Holiday House in Santorini Island by Alexandros Kapsimalis and Marianna Kapsimalis
Section – click for larger image