Description by Whitebox Architects:
The concept was the creation of a residence for a family of four – the parents with two children – and the possibility of having a guest room with relative autonomy -separate bathroom. The basic demands were: the view of the sea from all four bedrooms, an office space on the ground floor for the professional needs of the couple but mostly of the mother who wanted to work and supervise the ground floor where the children would play. Another request for the design was the economy in energy consumption of the house and the possibility of enjoying the outdoor spaces throughout the year, for dining, swimming, games.
Theplotis located in Lakka, looking over the gulf of Anavissos. Undergrowth, rocky terrain with a gentle slope to the bay located southeast of the plot and strong northerly and easterly winds -localthermal effects, are the main features of the inhospitable natural environment.
The building is L-shaped thus protects the space of the main courtyard from the strong local winds while connecting the indoors spaces to the external functions of the residence. The ground floor is divided into two levels following the smooth slope to the sea. On the northwest side, while the indoor facilities are disrupted, the structural elements of the building are released from the main volume and continue their way until they form a protected from the north wind -with stone walls-, and the sun- with fixed wooden blinds – space.
This area is the “secret” access of the family directly to the kitchen, the summer dining and rest area with shade and coolness. The secret garden of the children with a sculpture hidden behind the stone columns that barely leave the sun-rays penetrate and reveal their secret. Pergolas on the south side of the house protect the inner space from the direct sunlight through the corner windows that are facing the sea.Inside the building there is an atrium with a mobile roof that slopes to the North to allow the northern light to enter and contributes to the hot air relief during the summer. It also contributes to the visual and audio communication of the residents on both floors.
The semi-open space between the two children’s bedrooms that is in contact with the atriumgives children the opportunity to see inside the house from above while they are on their verandah. The northern side of the building creates a front to the north as there are only a few small openings, except one above the main entrance that even allows the view through the house to the buildings that lie behind. The wooden “sachnisi”is a historical reference to the Greek refugees who migrated to the area from Asia Minor in 1922 and worked in the local salt marshes.
The exterior walls of the building are made of 70cm (28in) bearing stone masonry, visible on the ground floor and plastered with colored plaster on the 1rst floor. The concrete used for slabs and columns remained visible inside and out. Great attention was given to the connection of the rough materials like stone and concrete with the other materials, wood, metal, glass, painted plaster.
Design Office: Whitebox Architects
Location: Anavissos, Athens, Greece
Photographs: George Fakaros