Rock House in Aegina
Myrto Stamatopoulou

Rock House in Aegina island (Renovation of a '50's house)

Natalia Bazaiou as Architects

Rock House, as it is affectionately called, derives its name from the deep-rooted love the owners harbor for rock music, particularly the Rolling Stones. Embracing the spirit of rock, the owners consider themselves "Rock People," and this ethos guided the entire renovation process. 
 

photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou
photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou

The starting point of the remodel of the 50 m2 house was a desire to preserve the identity of the 50s that was intrinsic to the house's atmosphere and history and, at the same time, to add extra living spaces and architectural elements to cater to the owners' contemporary needs (a staircase providing access to the roof, a partition wall separating the kitchen area from the main entrance, as well as converting the original bedroom into a versatile sleeping-living-dining space).

photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou
photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou

The exterior staircase leads to the roof which is used especially at dusk and night time as a place wherein to lay back and enjoy the view of the sea. The red metal staircase is a lightweight structure and at once a strong gesture suggestive of interaction and dialogue with the stone building. Being a new addition, it stands out, but at the same time leaves the existing structure unspoiled, etablishing a relationship with it that is complementary rather than antagonistic.

photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou
photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou

It was requested that the partitition wall which separates the entrance from the kitchen area should not be a rigid boundary, but that it should function instead as a space for showcasing different objects, playing with lighting and creating mood. Simultaneously, it is reminiscent of the 'benitsa', a niche in the stone wall that was typical of traditional Greek architecture.  

photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou

The house's overall square footage was limited. As a result, the bedroom area, originally occupied by a double bed and a wardrobe, could not accommodate other uses however necessary that may have been. A new arrangement allows the sleeping area to double as a living room, while also leaving enough space for a dining table and fireplace, as well as additional seating around the fireplace. The original stone wall has been exposed and niches have been built into it here and there to provide shelving.   

photo_credit Myrto Stamatopoulou
Myrto Stamatopoulou

Since the owners wanted to preserve as many elements of the original structure as possible, it was decided to use the existing exterior doors with mild interventions to add a contemporary quality to them. The colour of the finish is red, which establishes a dialogue between them and the element of the staircase.

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Ultimately, the remodel was meant to preserve the memory and history of the existing structure and to allow the house to be functional year-round, creating an experience that taps both into the family's present as well as its past.

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