Skopelos

Reborn of a derelict stone mansion, Skopelos

In the settlement of Skopelos Town of the Municipality of Skopelos, a derelict stone mansion, dating back to 1895, was purchased by new owners for major restoration as a classical home with contemporary interiors and multiple and diverse living and entertaining spaces which could also accommodate their large collection of art and furnishings.

The original building was a two-storey stone house with neoclassical influences. The neoclassical influences were introduced to the island mainly from the wealthy class during the period when the inhabitants of the island gained the opportunity to visit the capital.

Main features of the type are the balconies with the marble friezes, the symmetry of the facade and the elegant double-leaf doors with the decorative metal elements. The internal organization of the spaces placed the commercial shop functions on the ground floor and the family living spaces on the upper floor. This required the building to separate the ground floor from the first floor and also from the later addition of the courtyard.

The new design of the house aimed at highlighting and restoring the external neoclassical elements and returning the building to its once grand state. The new owners brief included the rearrangement and unification of all the internal spaces and their connection to the courtyard. Priority was given to the creation of spacious open living areas with direct communication between them, both internally and externally. On the ground floor gracious entrances to the house and the courtyard were restored and now lead to an extensive living space.

At the far end of the room a fireplace and emblematic staircase with island influences was constructed to create a natural vertical flow between the floors. A large archway was built to connect the living room with a former storage area that now houses the new kitchen and a small sitting area with television and cast iron wood burner for winter months. A separate archway leads from the living room to a guest bathroom, plant room and storage facilities.

Upstairs the large bedroom connects to an ensuite bathroom and the hallway connects to a separate private sitting room, office area and library. The flat ceiling of a later addition creates the bedroom terrace. An external staircase enhances the vertical flow between the floors.

The external frames were replaced with new wooden frames with double thermal insulation glass. The railings were preserved and maintained with special paints. The structural condition of the building was good but the beautiful original stonework and arches had been hidden by 20th century modifications.  

All of these modifications were removed and the original stonework repaired. New plaster walls were also installed. The load-bearing structures of the floors, consisting of 10 metre wooden beams, were completely replaced with new large chestnut beams due to damage and significant changes made to the internal layout of the building.

For the colors of the vertical surfaces, a shade of white was preferred, highlighting all the neoclassical details of the facades, and for the colors of the exterior frames, a light shade of red, pink, was used, inspired by the color of bougainvillea observed in the alleys of Skopelos. Internal surfaces are stone and white plaster to enhance the placement of the diverse range of artworks.

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