The project consisted of the complete rehabilitation for residential use of a preserved building in the heart of a traditional Cypriot village. The building, which dates back to the 19th century, served as the owners’ main residence before it was abandoned.
It consists of two floors covering a total area of 140m2, including a yard. Traditionally, the ground floor was used as storage space and the first floor as the family residence. Our main aim was to maintain the architectural identity of the house and preserve its special decorative elements, while combining them with modern facilities using natural materials.
Part of our study was to change the use of the ground floor. We proposed a new plan consisting of a living room area and an open-air kitchen in the main space. Additionally, the two independent parts of the ground floor were unified, removing the earth ground of the back space so it would host a bedroom and a WC. The spiral metal staircase with wooden steps suggests a contemporary style and eases the transition from one level to the other. Some of the existing large storage pots were kept in place and transformed into spatial elements, maintaining a connection with the past.
The local architecture was studied in order to achieve both consistency and balance with the landscape. Also, we researched old photographs in which the original interior and exterior spaces of the house were documented, without any structural additions or repairs of later times. The original exterior and interior walls were made of local stone and were restored where needed. As part of previous interventions, lime-based coating was used on the interior ground floor walls while cement-based mortar covered the exterior walls – both coatings were removed and the stone was brought out. Gypsum-based mortar was applied on some of the interior surfaces.
The original stone slabs on the floor were preserved and some were replaced with same quality stone. The wooden plank floor of the upper level was also restored and varnished. The interior wooden frame of the windows was painted in a light grey shade while for their exterior parts a darker grey shade was selected.
Micro cement was used on the kitchen counter top and on the external stone counter. Both the appearance of this material and the selected shade contribute to the overall nature blending approach.