Swimming Pool

Eight cavernous interiors that celebrate sinuous forms

A spa with a spherical swimming pool and cottages with sloping plaster walls feature in our latest lookbook, which showcases eight cavernous Greek interiors.

Cave-like interior designs are becoming increasingly popular, as seen in Studio Gang’s Gilder Center – a recently completed museum extension in New York that features a large grungy atrium.

Known for its caves, Greece has a wide variety of cave-like architecture, either built from existing geological structures or mimicking these natural shelters. Thick, curved walls are often chosen to protect interiors from the country’s Mediterranean climate.

As the weather warms up in the northern hemisphere, here are eight cave-like interiors from Greece that stand out for their curved shapes.

This is the latest in our lookbook series, featuring visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. Find more inspiration in previous lookbooks featuring homes with eye-catching bookcases, outdoor showers, and quirky bakeries.

The photo is by Yiorgos Kordakis

Summer Houses, Santorini, by Kapsimalis Architects

Local studio Kapsimalis Architects converted two underground caves on an ancient Santorini estate into summer homes with crisp white facades.

Inside, the homes feature smoothed interiors finished with earth-toned plaster, while arched doorways and alcoves nod to the property’s history.

Learn more about these summer homes ›

Image courtesy of Greg Haji Joannides

Sterna Nisyros Residences, Nisyros, by Greg Haji Joannides

Designer Greg Haji Joannides used historical photographs to renovate the interior of an earthquake-damaged house on the island of Nisyros.

On the ground floor, broad brick arches create an open layout that allows the space to double as an exhibition space for artists in residence.

“The inspiration behind this design was to retain as much as possible of the original way the Nisyrians built houses,” Joannides told Dezeen. “They would use the ground floor as a storage or work space.”

Learn more about this island home ›

Photo is by Spyros Hound Photography

Wooden Cave, Trikala Korinthias, by Tenon Architecture

Wooden Cave is a wood clad suite that is part of the Hyades Mountain Resort – a hotel in the hilltop village of Trikala Corinthia.

Tenon Architecture divided the suite into two sections designed to reflect the appearance and experience of entering a cave. The front half consists of ash-grey black tiles arranged in a linear formation, while the back half consists of nearly 1,000 bent, hand-cut pieces of spruce.

“This division is intended to create a clear separation between the hard, ‘protective’ shell and the curved, ‘inviting’ interior, which is reminiscent of the shape of a cave,” explains the architectural office.

Learn more about Wooden Cave ›

The photo is by Giorgos Sfakianakis

Saint Hotel, Santorini, by Kapsimalis Architects

Kapsimalis Architects transformed a collection of former Santorini homes, barns and cellars into the Saint Hotel – the structures of which are arranged in a tiered formation on a cliff facing the sea.

Inside, smooth, cavernous walls have been finished with white plaster, creating a subtle backdrop for minimal fixtures and amorphous furniture.

Find out more about Saint Hotel ›

The photo is by Sylvia Diamantopoulos

Retreat on Tinos Island by Ioannis Exarchou

The Retreat on Tinos Island is a 100 year old stable converted by architect Ioannis Exarchou into a cozy holiday home for two.

Exarchou set large stones and thick branches in the dwelling’s ceiling, clad the walls with smooth white plaster, and covered the floors with colored concrete.

“My main goal was to preserve and preserve the cavernous, unique feel of the space,” the architect told Dezeen.

Find out more about the retreat on Tinos Island ›

The photo is by Yiorgos Kordakis

Holiday home, Santorini, by Kapsimalis Architects

The cavernous subterranean rooms and vaulted rooms in this holiday home in Santorini have been renovated by Kapsimalis Architects in order to maintain the existing architecture of the building.

The studio worked to simplify the complex interior design, which features a labyrinthine arrangement of spaces brightened by all-white plaster walls.

Find out more about this holiday home ›

Image courtesy of DecaArchitecture

Euphoria Spa, Mystras, by DecaArchitecture

Carved into the base of a mountain in Mystras, the Euphoria Spa consists of variously sized elliptical rooms connected by a network of catacomb-like passages.

One of these areas contains a spherical indoor pool characterized by a dark central structure accessed via curved archways.

“Floating in the center of this dark sphere has a feeling of floating in the void of a platonic volume, but also a sense of womb-like stillness,” said DecaArchitecture.

Find out more about Euphoria Spa

Photo is by Julia Klimi

Apartments, Santorini, by Kapsimalis Architects

Arched alcoves and gray cement plaster floors create neutral living spaces in these four vacation rentals built near Santorini’s highest point.

The complex’s terraces and retaining walls were formed from rocks excavated on site to provide continuity between the architecture and the surrounding mountains.

Find out more about these apartments ›

This is the latest in our lookbook series, featuring visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. Find more inspiration in previous lookbooks featuring homes with eye-catching bookcases, outdoor showers, and quirky bakeries.

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