The White Cycladic House

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Image Courtesy © Deloudis, Photography by Vangelis Rokkas

The traditional white Cycladic house has been an unsurpassed model for the modernistic standards since the beginning of the 20th century. Le Corbusier, when he first visited the Greek isles in 1933, spoke of the "eternal house" and said, "These humble island houses are the archetype of modern architecture". Two years later, he designed his own version in the form of Villa Radieuse - the Radiant Villa.

From this architectural language of the Cyclades, the original statement of harmony, this Myconian residence, designed by the firm Zege (Tasos Zeppos, Eleni Georgiadou and Associates) borrows and evolves crucial elements. It is literally made, like its predecessor, of "light and shadow". White, rudimentary geometrical volumes create successive shady spaces, allowing the blinding Aegean sun to diffuse through bigger or smaller openings.

The interior is marked by the omnipresent white - on floors and walls - interrupted only by the wooden ceiling beams, purely decorative in this case. In such an "elemental" space, the furniture, chosen by the owners, had to be discreet and subtly elegant, maintaining the clarity of the whole environment. So the Italian design furniture is made of wood, painted white or upholstered with white cotton, with a few interspersed objects highlighting the island provenance of the house - like the cane table lamps by the Brazilian brothers Campana and a cluster of oil lamps by the Italian firm Driade, whereas the imposing three-dimensional artwork by Kostas Tsoklis, accentuates even further the Greek character of the place.

The primary element nevertheless is the symbolic and yet utilitarian water of the large swimming pool, surrounded by a peristyle of white columns, an ingenious architectural presence, framing the magnificent view to the adjacent bay.


Zege Architects

Posted by George Chronopoulos
Posted on April 12th, 2011
in Architecture, Interiors & Zege Architects