Two bioclimatic lodges on Tinos, Greece

Tinos Ecolodge, an ecofriendly tourist destination

Tinos Ecolodge is far away from centralised networks for power, water, waste and waste water. These circumstances combined with the owners’ philosophy for a better, ecological, economical and sustainable solution, has resulted in the selection, design and implementation of off-grid infrastructures. As a result, these lodges achieve maximum comfort with as little energy as possible and with a low environmental footprint.

On the east side of the beautiful Greek island of Tinos, just before the beautiful beach of Santa Margarita, lies Tinos Ecolodge a ecofriendly tourist destination. These lodges promise to get people out of their daily routines, offer relaxasion and healthy living in touch with nature. The wild forested with oak trees agricultural plot offers a stream with big plane trees and riverside vegetation which makes this place very green and wild. The view to the sea in front and to the islands of Mykonos and Ikaria completes the picture and the magnificence of nature at its best.

The arrangement of the two residences on the sloping plot offers magnificent and panoramic views
of the landscape and Aegean sea.

The two stone-built lodges are perfectly integrated into the natural environment, inspired by the traditional houses of Greek islands and build with natural stone and wood as the material of choice. However, the materials of these traditional buildings have been reinterpreted creating a thermally efficient contemporary architecture, combining functionality and finesse. Also the exploitation of the extraordinary potential of the plot in terms of orientation, slope and view was a basic pursuit of the design of the dwellings. 

Sustainable design

The following solutions are implemented in Tinos Ecolodge:

  • use of renewable energy resources, photovoltaic system and wind generators, to product electric power
  • rain water collection and storage in a 100,000L cistern
  • waste water treatment
  • composting human manure
  • use of treated waste water for non-edible plants and trees
  • filter the waste water by Reed-bed system for sewage treatment and reuse for garden irrigation
  • natural light design and solar thermal design
  • use of high quality wooden frames and energy glazing
  • natural ventilation
  • shading the yards with reeds
  • built completely out of local stone, from local stone masons using the traditional technique that has been preserved on Tinos

Two stone houses

The large house of 45.2 sq.m. is developed in “L” floor plan and the small one with an area of 31.4 sq.m. in rectangular floor plan. The two houses are completely independent, separated by the utility house in the middle terrace and with different orientation, preserving their privacy. Each house consist of an open-plan living room adjacent to kitchen space, a bathroom and two bedrooms in the big house and one in the small one. The kitchen opens to the big terrace in front of the house with garden, built-in sofa and dining table. The exterior stone walls protect the buildings from the strong north winds of the island while forming these gorgeous small terraces – outdoor seating areas.

The installation of windows is mainly to the south and the east for the purpose of natural light and ventilation, while creating visual escapes to the sea, the Acratos and the Cycladic islands. The design of the two houses allows users to enjoy the most of the sun, natural light and view.

Interior design

The interior is comfortable and bright. The carefully curating of the minimalist with traditional touch interior design combines functionality, comfort and high aesthetic, creating a cozy atmosphere. The furniture, floors and paintings are custom made.
The stone surfaces remain visible in-house, while the floors are covered with cast cement mortar in light orange color. The high thermal mass of stone wall combined with wooden frames (windows & doors) results in steady indoor temperature at a relatively constant intermediate level of about 18 ° C.

The minimal style of the master bedroom in combination with the exposed natural stone wall creates a serene and tranquil space that’s perfect for relaxing.

(clockwise from left) The kitchen cabinets are built into plastered countertops. At the left side of the exterior stone wall is a two recess which are used to create storage compartments.
(next image) Rustic wooden open closet in the master bedroom.
(last image) An old wooden window turned into a bathroom mirror.

Thanks to the natural stone features (high heat capacity) and the high thermal mass of the 50 cm thick exterior walls, the houses are well protected from the natural elements and the thermal comfort is maintained throughout the year.

External environment

The relationship between the building and the external environment is particularly important. The garden and the buildings are complementary connected. The two houses are well integrated into the natural environment, because of the layout of the buildings and the courtyards on the contour line (altitude lines) of the hill, the continuity of the natural environment remains unbreakable. The use of local building materials (stone, wood, reeds) combined with the free growth of vegetation on the plot create a sense of continuity of the natural with the built environment.

Tinos-Ecolodge team:

Marilia Kalouli: She studied Rural resources and environmental policy and she worked for environmental projects in many areas, with the aim of promoting ecotourism and conservation. Nowadays, Marilia directs Tinos Ecolodge in partnership with Nicolaos Bedau.  
Nicolas Bedau: He studied Landscape architecture and he works in the field of environmental design and education, while he is the administrator of Tinos Ecolodge.
Ronan Lewis: He works freelance in the rope access industry as a technician and builder.
Rafael Krause: He studied Landscape architecture and he works as an educator with teenagers. 

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