A seventeenth-century home on the island of Nisyros in Greece retains its sense of history in this beautiful renovation by Greg Haji Joannides, integrating built-in furniture and smooth, glossy surfaces with the pre-existing rock for a seamless blend of past and present. The Sterna Residence is among a number of structures located within the medieval castle complex of Pantoniki in Emporeios on the ridge of the island, overlooking the Aegean Sea.

The entire castle collapsed in a devastating earthquake in 1933 and was painstakingly rebuilt based on a survey of photographic archives, as well as a few structural features found during excavation, recovering the authenticity of the building’s original architecture.

The renovation adds modern infrastructure to the two-level home, which features two spacious bedrooms with private balconies and is available for vacation rentals. A large outdoor living space, including a rooftop lounge area with sun beds, looks out onto the landscape.

The tradition of painting houses white to reflect the harsh sunlight in summer might be a centuries-old tradition in the Cycladic islands, but it still looks fresh and modern, giving these interiors an airy, wide-open feel.

About the architect:

Greg Haji Joannides (b. 1980, Athens) he lives and works in Nisyros, Greece. He is the founder and creative director of Sterna Art Project (est. 2014), an art residency and exhibition program running on the island since 2014. He has been working on the human body and the deconstruction of it since 2010 as a continuous research. He studied BA in London and Athens. Initially a self-taught photographer, he developed his artistic voice through the guidance of photographer Panos Kokkinias. His series “Light reaction” first appeared in Lille3000 Art Fair (Lille, 2012) as well as, at Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2014). “Transparentia” solo show was presented at the Project Space of six d.o.g.s (Athens, 2014). His series “Feel it in” is included in UNLOCKED book published by ATOPOS cvc (2015). “Light & Sound reaction”, video and sound installation development process was presented as a performance at ATOPOS cvc (Athens, 2016). He has collaborated with choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou in Primal Matter (Athens, 2012 & 2013) and Still Life (Athens, 2014) performances. He is co-founder and creative director of activist platform NISYRIO that is about recycling plastic in Nisyros through sociocultural activities.”