Italian architect Chiara Armando, in close collaboration with POLYERGO, renovated an old ottoman house, in the hearth of the old town of Rethymno, Crete, respecting the existing building, maintaining its soul and enhancing its character, while adapting it to the new needs of life.
Paola, the owner, is an art historian, a tour guide specialized in the fascinating Pompeii, with a passion for travel and cultures, especially the Greek and Arab world. Krokos Crete is the daughter of all this: an Ottoman house, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, on the southernmost strip of land of Europe, the island of Crete.
Protected by the Archaeological Superintendency, like all the historic center of Rethymno, the first project and the subsequent restoration work were carried out respecting the existing building, maintaining its soul and enhancing its character, while adapting it to the new needs of life.
Chiara and Yiannis Polychronakis fromPOLYERGO, find then on the façade the typical Sachnisi called Kioski, a traditional type of bay window that covers the entire surface of the balcony, thus allowing them to extend the internal surface of the room.
Like the original, it was made of wood, while the ancient window grates, built with the mashrabiya technique and used both as a sunscreen and to protect the view towards the interior, are now magnificent decorative wall elements.
At the entrance, they find part of the original floor like a carpet, while the remainder was made with the same local stone of the time, also used for the worktop with integrated sink of the small custom-built kitchen partially integrated under the ladder.
A few steps on the left lead to the level of the patari, a mezzanine, present in most traditional houses, which allowed the storage of materials and products below, while on the floor there was the living area with low seats and carpets. Functions have been maintained, using the lower part as a laundry and storage room.
Continuing through the small outdoor patio overlooked by one side of the room, visitors reach the roof terrace from which they can enjoy the view of the sea and the Venetian fortress of Rethymno. Finally, the logo, designed by Vittoria Spinoni, traces the face of a saffron harvester, Krokos in Greek, inspired by the frescoes of the Minoan civilization.