It is heartening to discover that this is a building constructed in our century, despite the fact that we are now used to think of a building as a break with the landscape, a sign imposed over it, a subversion of the existing landscape. While many contemporary buildings are created in one place but could be moved anywhere else in the world, as they have no specific topographical references, Deca Architecture’s holiday home could not have been built anywhere but here. The formal requirements of the home’s design are moulded to the local topography, so that the home is totally effaced and the eye confused, as we can only detect a human presence if we look carefully from close up. This is because the home consists simply of two straight stone walls resting against the hills to the north and south, as in ancient local rural buildings from times when tourism had not yet made the Cyclades into a favourite holiday destination. An extension of the plateau, the walls let the earth into the house so that it knocks on the door of the central hall around which the bedrooms are arranged. Oriented on the basis of the home’s main axis, the main hall is lit up by the window that is the south wall and by the many doors and windows that allow it to interact with the courtyards opening onto the valley to the west and toward the sea in the distance to the east, so that the inside of the house has the feel of a passageway, a door in which to stand and admire the landscape in either direction.
By blending into the landscape, the house not only respects nature but takes advantage of its resources: its position sheltered by two hills, its floor plan on a single level and, lastly, the presence of a roof of greenery for cultivation of local shrubs continuing the landscape of the nearby hills without interruption shelters the home from the weather, insulates it and controls the temperature indoors.
by Mara Corradi
Design: Deca Architecture (Alexandros Vaitsos, Carlos Loperena, Elena Zabeli, Kyle Gudsell, Katerina Chryssanthopoulou)
Client: Oliaros SA (AntiparosDesignProperties)
Location: Island of Antiparos, Cyclades (Greece)
Structural design: Manos Kyriazis (KYMA)
Mechanical consultancy: George Kavoulakos (TEKEM)
Builder: Kataskevastiki Topometriki Parou ABETE
Landscape design: Thomas Doxiadis (Doxiadis+)
Lot size: 237 m2
Photographs: Erieta Attali, Ed Reeve, Julia Klimi, decaArchitecture