Monolithus by Kapsimalis Architects
A man-made monolith of 20meters length and 20meters width, placed in the landscape of Santorini island, like a large piece of volcanic rock. The artificial massive stone as if it has been there from the start, as a piece of the volcanic eruption, it has been shaped by the elements of the nature, mostly by the sea and the wind.
While, the natural erosion exposed formations of solid mass and voids, the perceived size of the monolith is maintained. The gradually process of stones’ removal creates enclosed and outdoor living spaces.
Holes in the surface of the monolith frame the landscape and bring light in the heart of the stone. The skin of the rock, a mixture of soil and cement, through the time adjusted to the texture and the colors of the earth’s ground, sometimes whitish and soft in the bright light of the summer, brown in the absence of the sun and grey, gloomy and rough in the cloudy sky. Inside the house the perception of that earthy materiality is changed not only due to the alternations of daylight but also due to the presence of artificial lighting.
The interior of the rocky shelter is an open space that consists of living rooms, dining areas and spaces of relaxation and sanitation, that consist a main residence with two guesthouses. The open plan of the ground floor is in a direct relation with the exterior yards / patios and the surroundings such as the blue of the Aegean Sea, the yellow and green colors of the vines in front, the summer grains and the anhydrous cactus. An attic, on the top, under a vaulted roof leads to a sunken terrace, a place to observe.
Pieces of primitive, handmade furniture, made by various materials like, concrete, black stone, marble, wood, iron, velvet, clay and glass are diligently placed in the interior and exterior spaces. During the summer period and under the blinding sun, the guests use the small water-pools to keep cool, stay on the perimeter of the monolith, being surrounded by wild spiky mediterranean plants.
Photography by Yiorgos Kordakis
Visit Kapsimalis Architects- by Matt Watts