Andros - Vacation House [ENG]
[ENG] - The country house in the island of Andros sits on a remarkable site. A site of hidden and evident beauty at the same time. A land that has been treated by humans to exploit the inclination of the hill.
The so called «pezoules» were full with cypress trees, olive trees a huge oak tree and some lemon trees. This is a typical «ktima» in the island facing the south the cypress trees were used to block the strong north winds of the island. The site though has little sea view which is what most of the blocked by the density of the city people from Athens seek in their second houses in an island nearby Athens.
But these are not typical inhabitants and this is not a typical vacation house. Being controlled by many regulations and restrictions due that the site lies on the borders of an extended neoclassical village the house had to become hybrid using the medieval architecture of the island, the neoclassical lines and analogies and the modern way of thinking and living of the users.
As the site was so powerful and dominant architects have to follow the path between the trees and to execute a design that would maintain the site as possible. The decision was to create a very open house but with an inner core protected. This would follow the tradition of Greek monasteries that their inner courtyard is being protected from outside with the surrounding building –wall from the exterior.
A protected inner courtyard was designed to behold the privacy and to protect from the sun and the winds. The house was situated vertically to the retain stone walls to create the barrier between the inner space and the country road , to cut through the pezoules and to gain view of the city of Andros and to the sea as possible.
The main house has been divided into two volumes that are connected through a ramp and the space that connects is where all the circulation occurs. Two more volumes are interconnected to the main house the one closer functions as storage and the guest house further away almost invisible creates a path and resolves into the scenery.
The question of how you design in such a loaded place with history, nature and traditional architecture has one answer. Honesty. We live to vacation houses quite different, coming from dense cities what we really want is the calmness and serenity of the countryside. And we want to be as close to nature as possible. Large windows that can differ totally from the old stone made houses bring the outside inside and this is a house for all seasons and not only for summer.
It is a house that you experience the changes of light during the day and the climatic changes during the seasons. The swimming pool surrounds the house plays important role of gathering the family during summer almost identical to the role that fireplace plays during winter. The house except the main courtyard has several different protected outside spaces for different times of the day.
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