Modern Reflections of Ancient Beauty

Like much of Greece, the island of Tinos in the Cyclades archipelago brims with history, tradition and natural beauty. It is the ancient home of some of Greek history's most prominent sculptors and site of the country's greatest religious pilgrimage to the Greek Orthodox cathedral, Panaya Evangelisteria.

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Unsurprisingly, Tinos is also a popular spot for affluent European vacationers who come for the culture as well as the rocky shores and sandy beaches of the Aegean Sea.

In this fabled setting, perched just above the water's edge, a custom home known as the Mirage House stands out because of the clever way it blends in. The home, designed by Athens-based architect Stelios Kois, is intended to visually meld with the sky and Aegean Sea with its low-profile, minimalist design and highly unusual 210-square meter "edgeless pool" that comprises the roof.

"We wanted to make a house fused with its surroundings, an invisible oasis hidden from unsuspecting eyes," explained Kois in an interview with Design and Art Magazine. "The house is almost like an observation point as it clings to the rocks and oversees the dramatic cascading landscape."

The 198-square-meter single-level home is partially recessed into the slope and was built using mostly indigenous materials, all in an effort to harmonize with the spectacular surroundings.

The rear walls consist of "retained" earth and feature layers of vegetation that work in concert with the insulation offered by the water contained in the pool to maintain comfortable temperatures inside the house.

Approaching the property from the land side, the pool, with its ever-changing reflections, is the only visible evidence of the structure. During the day, the dark waters reflect the sky, sea and surrounding landscape while at night, it becomes a mirror to the cosmos.

A most fitting modern homage to the home's storied and ancient setting.

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