Local studio Kapsimalis Architects created Monolithus, a holiday home on the Greek island of Santorini designed as an arrangement of geometric shapes clad in earth-coloured cement.
The design of the four-bedroom home outside the village of Finikia was inspired by the concept of a chunk of volcanic rock that has eroded over centuries to make space.
The resulting “man-made boulder” is a 20 x 20 meter concrete block made up of angled courtyards and patios, with high walls sheltering a series of guest rooms.
“The artificial boulder looks as if it was there from the beginning, like a volcanic eruption, shaped by elements of nature, ocean and wind,” the studio described.
“Natural erosion exposes the formation of solid matter and voids, while the gradual removal process of stone creates enclosed outdoor living spaces,” it continued.
Perched atop a square plinth, the two guest rooms with kitchenettes join the main residence in a V-shape that opens to the north, each space connecting to private patios that end with a small freestanding swimming pool.
Steel columns support perforated metal canopies that shade seating areas next to these pools, while outdoor seating is located in a nearby sunken circle of cobblestones.
The main living and dining room to the west is wrapped by a larger patio that connects to the front of the home, where a staircase leads to the basement lounge.
Above, a curved “eroded” form accommodates an additional bedroom with a vaulted roof, which connects to an elevated patio overlooking the surrounding landscape.
Inside, the space is designed as a cave-like shelter, and the white angular walls are also designed to look like the space has been carved out of a boulder.
“Handmade furniture made of concrete, black stone, marble, wood, iron, velvet, clay and glass is carefully placed in both indoor and outdoor spaces,” said the studio.
“During the summer, in the blazing sun, guests use small pools to stay cool on the perimeter of the boulder, surrounded by wild, spiky Mediterranean plants,” it continued.
Kapsimalis Architects have designed many holiday homes in Santorini, often inspired by the traditional architecture and natural landscapes of the Greek islands.
Previous projects include a fortress-style holiday home designed to look like a rock outcrop, and a series of holiday homes occupying converted caves.
Photography is by Yiorgos Kordakis.