London-based Studio Seilern Architects has completed a villa on the Greek island of Paros, designed as a cluster of white cube-shaped forms that are oriented to follow the setting sun over the Aegean Sea.
Located next to an olive grove in Makra Myti on the island’s southwest coast, Paros House was designed to be a “beautiful and simple luxury living environment”, finished in traditional white stucco and Greek marble.
The spaces of the villa are organised around an east-west axis designed to follow the path of the sun throughout the day in summer.
Cutting through the centre of the site, this axis begins with an entrance ramp to the east and ends with a long, thin infinity pool that extends westwards towards views of the Aegean Sea.
A bamboo pergola is punctured by a single oculus that brings sunlight into the otherwise shaded poolside lounge, finished in hand-chiseled marble.
Around this central axis, the spaces of the villa are designed as stand-alone rooms with their own entrances, set on stepped platforms of terrazzo that lead down to the pool terrace.
“The surrounding built volumes that comprise the villa are placed on overlapping terrazzo slabs, which give the appearance of floating above the soil,” explained Studio Seilern.
A living and dining space with a bedroom above sits in the largest central volume, which opens onto the poolside terrace via a set of sliding glass corner doors.
This block is flanked on either side by smaller en-suite bedroom blocks, each of which has its own more private terrace area sheltered by high white walls at the north and south of the site.
Inside, the palette of “minimal material richness” is continued, with apertures framed by angled sections of hammered Alive marble and countertops and benches finished in sandblasted and chiseled stone.
“The scale of the aggregate displays calculated variation between different terrazzo surfaces, creating a subtle but vital gradation; a simple arrangement of raw materials that offers layers of intricacy,” described the studio.
“These careful adjustments provide complexity without overloading the project, allowing the landscape to imbue the house with a unique formal energy appropriate for its coastal position.”
The white, vernacular buildings of the Aegean islands have inspired many contemporary reinterpretations for holiday villas and hotels.
The photography is by Louisa Nikolaidou.
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