New Santorini homes are built with processed volcanic ash

The jury prize winner in the “Unbuilt Hospitality” category at the A+ Awards 2022 from Architizer goes to these beautiful autonomous cottages designed by iraisynn attinom for Santorini, Greece. The Aegean island of Thira is now home to these amazing sustainable homes that mimic local architecture.

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View of the Santorini complexes from a distance during the day

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

Related: Abandoned Wine Factory Transformed into Luxury Seaside Hotel

An evening sky with clouds above the homes

To achieve their goal, the homes follow a cubic design that follows the slope of the rocky ground while resembling traditional homes located up the slopes of the island. Eight monolithic rectangular volumes make up these cottages, along with vaulted ceilings, semi-open spaces, private courtyards and swimming pools.

A backyard in the complexes

Each housing 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.

The exterior of a residence at night

The structures are made from local stone and masonry 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 cladding, the builders use an organic, natural plaster called Kourasani, which was used in ancient Greece. The plaster’s off-white, light color reflects solar radiation to prevent the homes’ interiors from overheating during the day. In addition, the plaster Santorini contains volcanic ash and ceramic natural stone powder.

A sitting area in the front garden

Main doors and windows are located at the eastern end of each building. North facing 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 to ventilate hot air on the upper floors during warm nights.

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

For extra shade, wooden and pipe pergolas, climbing plants and trees will be planted around the homes. The orientation of the residences also takes advantage of the summer winds and pools to cool the complex.

Inside one of the homes with a large arched window

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

The master 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 on their website below.

+ iraisinn attinom

Images via iraisynn attinom

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