New Santorini homes are built with processed volcanic ash


Jury prize winner in the “Unbuilt Hospitality” category at the A+ Awards 2022 from Architizer goes to these gorgeous autonomous summer homes designed by iraisynn attinom for Santorini in Greece. The island of Thira in the Aegean Sea is now home to these stunning sustainable residencies that mimic local architecture.

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A view of the Santorini complexes at a distance in the daytime

According to the architects, the goals of the design were to include protection from northwest winds, a view of the sea and the Mediterranean volcanic landscape as well as privacy for residents. In addition, Santorini is a part of a group of islands that are the remnant of a volcanic caldera.

Related: Abandoned wine factory is transformed into a luxury hotel by the sea

An evening sky with clouds above the residencies

In order to accomplish their goals, the homes follow a cubical design that follows the slope of the rocky plot while resembling traditional homes located up the slopes of the island. Eight monolithic rectangular volumes make up these summer homes along with arched ceilings, semi-open spaces, private yards and swimming pools.

A backyard in the complexes

Each residential unit has two main volumes, one for the living room and kitchen and the other for the private bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper floor. There is also a primary suite and a secondary bedroom.

Exterior of a residency at night

The structures are made from local stone and masonry in order to use as many local materials as possible and keep the project sustainable. Thick exterior stone walls absorb and retain heat during the day and distribute it at night. For the wall covering, the builders use an ecological, natural plaster called Kourasani, which was used in ancient Greece. The off-white, light color of the plaster reflects solar radiation to prevent the homes’ interiors from overheating during the day. Further, the plaster contains Santorini volcanic ash and ceramic natural stone powder.

A sitting area in the front yard

Main doors and windows are located on the east end of each building. Northern windows are small to help ventilate and cool the houses during the hot summer months. In the attic, a skylight based on local architecture helps ventilate hot air on the upper floors during hot nights.

An archway surrounded by a pool and the sea in the distance

For extra shading, wood and reed pergolas, climbing vegetation and trees will be planted around the homes. The orientation of the homes also takes advantage of summer winds and pools to cool the complex.

Inside one of the residencies with a large arch window

In addition to these traditional building methods that adapt the houses to the local climate, terraces collect and store rainwater.

The primary suite in the Santorini home

The design house for this project, iraisynn attinom, is based in Athens and formed in 2010. The studio combines architecture with a focus on restoration, scenic design, topography, and building in harmony with the landscape and human well-being.

Learn more about this unique studio at their website below.

+ iraisynn attinom

Images via iraisynn attinom



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