THE GREEN MELTING POT

A renovation project of a 45m2 building from the 1950s with an interior yard. Its structure is made of concrete and adobe, which were widely used at the time. The building was originally used as a secondary residence while in the last decade it mainly served as a storage room. Its condition was extremely bad, both externally and internally, due to its age and the complete lack of maintenance and improvement measures through the years. The aim was to transform it into a modern residential loft that could also host artists during their residency in Cyprus.

Our study intended to create an open plan space with a steel frame loft addition. Consequently, all interior walls and dividers were demolished while a new WC was constructed using drywall materials. Taking advantage of the building’s height, the loft was designated as the new sleeping area. Wire rope was placed along the two sides of the suspended steel construction, allowing for an unobstructed view of the rest of the house while also providing protection for the tenant.

As the outside view is directed towards the interior yard providing a direct visual contact with the exterior, two new openings were created, increasing the diffusion of natural light into the inside space and unifying the interior and exterior areas.

Moreover, new louvers – identical with the original ones – were placed on the windows while a new front door was installed, designed by a wood craftsman, since the condition of the original one was irreversible. However, the original door ironwork was saved following maintenance and restoration.

The selection of the specific color palette was inspired by the local landscape. As one of the inner walls of the building is made of natural local stone (brought out after the accorded restoration procedure) the application of a shade of beige on some of the remaining walls and openings creates a color balance and leads to a direct relation between the different surfaces. In a similar  way, the use of white color on details such as the mobile furniture legs, the steel staircase and the window ledges supports the overall color consistency. The use of green shades on the kitchen walls and cabinets, and the orange color on the floor are suggestive of the island’s Mediterranean scenery. The presence of a wood-burning stove adds to the overall warmth and hospitality that  the place exudes.

The project benefited from custom furniture design for the interior. The majority of the furniture pieces were designed by our team and constructed by collaborators under our supervision. The set concept is a combination of mid-century and contemporary styles where all architectural elements are successfully integrated. Although the form of the sideboard, coffee and dining tables relates to design trends of the past, their materials strongly suggest a contemporary approach.  The use of copper, artificial wood boards, and white painted metal parts are influenced by industrial settings and blend in with the timeless mid-century interior. The textile used on the two armchairs and sofa is a custom fabric design for the project.  The pattern represents a modern identity on its own, whereas the orange and white colors correspond to the color palette of the place. The closet, office desk and mid-century Scandinavian style armchairs and sofa are authentic 1950s Cypriot furniture pieces which were set up after research and appropriate restoration.