ANAKTAE resurrects a wine press on the Greek island of Aegina
The Greek Island of Aegina is best known for its Doric temples, Byzantine chapels, and neoclassical townhouses, but its vernacular folk architecture has its own timeless lyricism.
One such example is this restored farmhouse and wine press in Livadi, a world apart from Aegina’s lively port.
Humble yet aesthetically flawless, functional yet with nothing superfluous, this summer house embodies the effortless spirit of Greek summer when life is reduced to the simplest, but most profound elements.
Built in the 1930s from the island’s characteristic blush-pink stone, the farmhouse originally overlooked a flourishing vineyard, with stunning views of the estate and the nearby sea.
The structures were built in stages to accommodate the bare necessities for the farm workers who lived here during the summer grape harvest: modest living quarters, a wine press, an outhouse containing a wood-fired oven, and stables carved into the rock to shelter the livestock.
In the late 1950s, the vines were replaced with pistachio trees, Aegina’s most famous crop. Over the years, the estate was abandoned and gradually began to crumble into the soft, fertile landscape.
The new owners, art connoisseurs with great sensitivity and respect for the local architecture and landscape, wished to restore the house with minimal intervention. Using locally quarried stone, ANAKTAE pieced the puzzle of the stone walls back together again.
The vaulted timber ceilings and slate floors were reconstructed, and new window frames installed. The outdoor oven was transformed into a petite guesthouse, while remaining faithful to the original design and materials.
The house offers cool respite from the intense summer heat and light, while celebrating the liberating energy of Greek summer. Open-plan spaces flow as one but can easily be reconfigured to accommodate different purposes or additional house guests.
The fittings and furniture are stripped back to the essentials for easy-going island life – minimal, functional, versatile, relaxed.
Bamboo pergolas and terracotta terraces create additional outdoor living space.
Simple stone benches along the property’s perimeter allow residents to immerse themselves in the sounds, colours, and scents of the landscape: the hypnotic chanting of cicadas, the melody of birdsong, a glimpse of the sea, the soothing aroma of the pistachio groves, the gentle hum of bees carried on the sea breeze.
The gentle palette connects the sun-dappled interiors to the natural surroundings – reddish stone, pale clay, ochre bamboo, pink-and-green pistachio trees.
A peaceful ode to human proportions and natural materials, offset by the owners’ collection of contemporary art, which includes many works created by local artists living on Aegina.
“The house is designed to celebrate the quiet yet magical essence of this unsung island, and to subtly stimulate all the senses.
As well as functional and aesthetic considerations, we wanted to infuse this beloved home with an uplifting atmosphere and positive energy”, say Dianna Karvounis and Vivian Philippa, the founding partners of ANAKTAE.
Note to Editors
ANAKTAE is a design studio founded by industrial designer Dianna Karvounis and architect Vivian Philippa. Based in Athens, Greece, the studio works across architecture, interiors, and product design.
Mining their ancient Greek heritage for inspiration, ANAKTAE’s work is defined by a neo-archaic aesthetic that draws a line between the classical and contemporary.
On the cusp between art and design, the studio’s smaller objects are sold in major museums and cultural foundations worldwide.
AEGINA, just one hour’s ferry ride from Athens, is one of the most accessible Greek islands; but it’s also one of the most authentic and artistically vibrant.
Aegina’s gentle landscapes, extraordinary antiquities, and radiant light have long been muse to some of Greece’s foremost artists and writers, such as Yannis Moralis, Nikos Nikolaou, Odysseas Elytis and Nikos Kazantzakis. In recent years, a new generation of Greek and international poets, potters, and painters have settled on the island, which is also renowned for its native pistachios and superb seafood restaurants.
For further information and high-res images, please contact Anna Zarifi, firstname.lastname@example.org, +306934415084
ANAKTAE RESTORES A FARMHOUSE AND WINE PRESS ON THE ISLAND OF AEGINA
ARCHITECTURAL STUDY – CONSTRUCTION – SUPERVISION BY ANAKTAE
Project: AEGINA SUMMER HOUSE
Site: Livadi, Aegina Island, Greece
Architects: ANAKTAE, Vivian Philippa & Dianna Karvounis
Area: Main building: 70 m2
Guest houses: 25 m2
Open-air: 180 m2
Total plot: 560 m2
Photographs: Lefteris Siarapis
Furniture Design: Dianna Karvounis, Vivian Philippa
Interior Design: Dianna Karvounis, Vivian Philippa
Supervision: Dianna Karvounis, Vivian Philippa