Residence in Sikamino

Nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Mies van Der Rohe Award 2013 Sykamino / Greece / 2011

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The field is elongated, rural, planted with olive trees. The land is dominant. –How could a residence rise out of the ground, how could it be confined to a roof? The residence is its roof. A 60 meters long one. While approaching the plot, it can be perceived as a slightly elevated strip of earthy crust in front of the distant mountains of Euboea. It can be walked on. The roof is born from and returns back to the ground; it is planted likewise: helichrysum, drosanthemum, lavender, gauras, thyme. The roof’s shape is rhomboid and the living space is hosted under its central, maximum width area, while the sleeping quarters occupy the edges. The composition seeks to vigorously merge the residence with its elongated site. An additional, fully underground level has been introduced to facilitate the increased needs that the intent agricultural life requires. The reception of the residence’s edges by the land of Attica and the subsequent birth of the green roof by the same land, create an acute shell, gently inserted in the olive groove. The passive energy conservation achieved by the immersion and the earthy covering is inten­sified by the protecting, cantilevered hovering of the roof. The synergy between architectural and structural design is absolute, the structural analysis did not follow. The latter was researched right from the start, chiselling the interiors, determining the form, which was in turn determined by the in­clined field itself: the informally rhomboid shape of the residence was imposed by its inherent length as well as by its orientation towards the Euboean gulf sea. Building shell is of reinforced concrete, exposed on roofs and walls. Iron frames, sun-protecting blinds, metallic shutters palliate the sense of transparency. The sculptural clarity of the ex-tended, con­crete roof was attained by means of inversion of all beams but one, which abuts at the central column: the hearth. The Sykamino residence seems to be effectively two-faced: It is gentle but at the same time it is not. It is integrated in its field but nevertheless opposes itself to it. It partially disappears and yet insistently manifests its vigour. Its merging is consciously infinite, incomplete. It isn’t a camouflage-building, a landscape-building. It is a building: its architecture wilfully declares present. And mainly, open.
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    The field is elongated, rural, planted with olive trees. The land is dominant. –How could a residence rise out of the ground, how could it be confined to a roof? The residence is its roof. A 60 meters long one. While approaching the plot, it can be perceived as a slightly elevated strip of earthy crust in front of the distant mountains of Euboea. It can be walked on. The roof is born from and returns back to the ground; it is planted likewise: helichrysum, drosanthemum, lavender, gauras, thyme....

    Project details
    • Year 2011
    • Work finished in 2011
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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