Residence in Sykamino: a pointed shell amongst the Greek olive groves

Its merging with the landscape is 'knowingly' incomplete

by Malcolm Clark
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An elongated field surrounded by olive trees. How can a house rise from the ground and be limited to a roof?” Residence in Sykamino was created with this in mind. It was designed by the Greek office tan - tense architecture network, which recently received a nomination for the European Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe 2013.

The residence is the roof itself” state the designers. “One great 60 metres long one. Approaching the lot, it is perceived as a slightly elevated portion of the ground in front of the distant mountains of Euboea. It can be walked on. The roof comes from the earth and returns to it”.

The roof has plants growing on it: helichrysum, drosanthemum, lavender, gaura, thyme. The roof is diamond-shaped and the living space below is centrally located, at its widest point, while the sleeping area occupies the edges. An additional level, completely underground, was created to meet the space and function requirements.

The result is a sharp shell, gently nestling between the olive trees.

The energy savings achieved by burying the building and from the garden roof is intensified by the cantilevering roof.

The Sykamino Residence seems to be “two-faced” It is gentle but at the same time it is not. It is integrated in the ground, but at the same time opposes it. It partially disappears, while vigorously expressing its strength.

Its fusion is 'knowingly' incomplete. It is not a building disguised as a landscape. It is a building: its architecture voluntarily declares its presence and, above all, openness”.

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    Residence in Sikamino 41

    Residence in Sikamino

    Sykamino / Greece / 2011