Nestled within a triangular plot in Rhodes, our challenge was to transform an old linear barn into a contemporary retreat house. Surrounded by the destruction of similar typological barns by new touristic developments, we were compelled to ask ourselves how to honor the memory of the past while meeting the present’s needs without resorting to nostalgia.
Our synthetic approach, which was developed as an answer to the question above, can be described as two distinct gestures.
01| The decision to preserve the barn’s original cell and convert it into an introverted structure accommodating all indoor and outdoor public functions. We aimed to create a serene continuous space that accentuates the linearity of the old structure, framing specific views of the Mediterranean landscape. The result is a contemporary, timeless, and locally resonant space.
02| We proposed an underground expansion to provide additional room for the more private functions of a contemporary retreat house. This generous gesture became a poetic exploration of the earth’s potential, sculpted by light and shadow to craft an intimate yet monumental space. The underground realm is a world within a world, shielded from the outside yet intimately connected to the landscape through a generous circular garden that opens towards the sky.
This unique type of dwelling, a dichotomy, celebrates simplicity, authenticity, and beauty as an introverted dwelling that looks inward and out-ward to the sky and the Mediterranean landscape. It is a dwelling that is open to the world yet rooted in its place, designed for current human needs while referencing the past and the context of time.
It invites the habitants to explore the nuanced relationship between architecture, space, and human experience; to slow down, reflect, and watch time pass, highlighting the dialogue between the past and the present and responding poetical-ly to the site and context.
A redefined Barn House in Salakos; a Dwelling that is both humble and grand, both ancient and modern,
both rooted and visionary; a dwelling that invites us to slow down, reflect, and watch the passage of time go by.
Location: Salakos, Rhodes
Design Team: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, Konstantinos Pyliotis, Evangelos Fokialis, Panayiota Kyriakou
3D Visualization: blankwall.avs
Interior Design Consultant: Andreas Petropoulos
Mechanical Engineer Consultant: Sourilas Konstantinos (KNS
Sculptor of Marble Model: Dousis Marble (Konstantinos Dousis, Panagiotis Vasilakis, Nikolaos Doulos)
Area: 220 m2
Project Year: 2023
Project Type: Commission (Under construction)