The plot is situated in the suburb of Dionisos on the foot of the Pendeli Mountain. A beautiful pine forest and a fine carpet of Mediterranean shrubbery colored the site. Unfortunately in the big fire of Athens 2008 the site was completely burned and today the house looks quite naked without its context.
Our aim was to intervene to the site in a sensitive way and maintain the outmost respect for the natural surroundings. The first thing we noticed was a natural clearing between the different clusters of trees.
The articulated volume reflects the character of that clearing and the lot. The house mimics the landscape and tries to camouflage itself becoming the extrusion of that clearing, a hill.
By considering the building as a solid mass and incorporating the roof in to the walls we minimize the archetype of the object-house. The monolithic and earthy character is emphasized by the use of rough brick as the sole material to clad the exterior surfaces. The brick was also an answer to our clients wish for a low maintenance and natural facade material. The inclinations of the roof result from the solar studies in order to achieve maximum shading in the summer and sun exposure in the winter. The ceilings inside the house follow the inclinations of the roof and create unique experiences in every room. Single and double high spaces interchange to complement the total experience of the interior.
Parts of the volume are subtracted creating voids that define in between spaces, blur the limits and create new relations. In vs. out, enclosed vs. open, intimate vs. public vs. private, high vs. low, light vs. dark.
The house is also designed to have a minimum energy footprint. A combination of systems are applied that use solar energy for heating and an air to water heat pump for cooling. Black and grey water as well as the rainwater are treated and purified in a bio cleaning tank and then reused for irrigation. The energy demands are reduced significantly by the continuous external insulation layer just underneath the façade bricks. The combination of that external layer of insulation and the fact that the bricks are placed on their short side required a complex and particular construction detail for attaching the bricks to the concrete structure without damaging the insulation.
The whole design of the house was based on the lush and green character that the site originally had. In the fire the house was half completed and major works had to be done from the beginning. Today the owners are striving to recreate the natural environment of the lot and finally live inside the hill on the clearing between the trees.
Design date: 2007
Construction date: 2008-2011
Site Area: 785,78 sq.m.
Total Surface: 229,04 sq.m.