"Forest, Grove, Meadow, and Sea": Elaborating on a 1970s House in Greece

The joint project of principals Ryan Neiheiser and Xristina Argyros, architecture firm Neiheiser Argyros splits time between two home bases: London and Athens. Recently the duo and team Eleni Vagianou, Alkisti Michelatou, Danae Haratsis took on a project on the Greek side, in the village of Evia.

The site overlooking the Euboean Sea held an existing structure that had been designed by Greek architect Nikos HHadjimichalis in the 1970s. “Whereas the original house was singularly focused towards the sea, by cutting large new openings into the original structure and extending space outdoors in all directions, the diversity of the site—forest, grove, lawn, meadow, and sea—is celebrated,” the architects say. Drawing on the modernist details of the original, the team cut into the structure in places and expanded it in others, adding two concrete archways to frame views of the sea and a one-story wing, perpendicular to the main living areas, for the private bedrooms, “tucked into the existing slope of the landscape.”

Join us for a look around.

Photo by Lorenzo Zandri, courtesy of Neiheiser Argyros.

the initial \1970s building
Above: The initial 1970s building “has been extensively renovated, reconfigured, and extended,” the architects say.  Now, the living areas are housed in a cube-like main section, and an added one-story floor perpendicular houses the private spaces. “The house disappears into the olive groves and wild pine forest from the approach road but opens up across two stories to embrace the full extent of the seafront views,” according to Neiheiser Argyros.

Above: “Many of the original modernist details have been recreated and updated but also complemented with playful new additions,” they add. In the living area, a low-slung built-in couch wraps the entire room; the walls are done in white brick.
the kitchen is a mix of pale green,
Above: The kitchen is a mix of pale green, ’70s-style wood, and terrazzo; the fixtures and finishes were sourced from local purveyor Textures and Tiles.
Above: “The house is deliberately ambiguous in its treatment of old and new,” according to the architects, “and un-precious in its deference to the original house, at times revealing the traces of the manipulations and incisions to the original, at other times blending new with old, conflating past and present.”
the archways frame views of the sea. 13
Above: The archways frame views of the sea.
the material palette of the house is evidenced in the stairway:
Above: The material palette of the house is evidenced in the stairway: “The exposed concrete of the structural walls and ceiling are complemented by exposed brick, wood windows, custom terrazzo floors, perforated aluminum cabinets, and built-in upholstered furniture throughout.”
the bedrooms are housed in the tucked back single story wing, for privacy, wher 15
Above: The bedrooms are housed in the tucked-back single-story wing, for privacy, where double doors open onto lush landscaped walkways. The roof of this section is green as well, softening the building’s modern silhouettes within the land.
a bedside nook. 16
Above: A bedside nook.
one bath is outfitted with retro wood details and fixtures from papapolitis. th 17
Above: One bath is outfitted with retro wood details and fixtures from Papapolitis. The house also has radiant heat flooring.
elsewhere, a classically greek light well brings sunlight into the shower. 18
Above: Elsewhere, a classically Greek light well brings sunlight into the shower.

another kitchen opens to the land. 19
Above: Another kitchen opens to the land.
the space is done in concrete, brick, and pale pink tile that somehow feels mut 20
Above: The space is done in concrete, brick, and pale pink tile that somehow feels muted and textural.

nearly every room opens onto the pathways and terraces that surround the house. 21
Above: Nearly every room opens onto the pathways and terraces that surround the house.
greenery both softens and adds privacy. 22
Above: Greenery both softens and adds privacy.
the quiet pool, looking out at the sea, is by stelnic. 23
Above: The quiet pool, looking out at the sea, is by Stelnic.

For more on the project, head here. And for more architecture and design from the Greek isles, see our posts: