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Perfect Greek hideaway - Villa Melana
This project was envisioned for a family, living in Athens, who wanted a new weekend getaway tucked in the Arcadian Landscape…
The design of the project started mid-2012, and the work was completed at the end of 2014. The project was designed by two architectural firms: Valia Foufa and Panagiotis Papassotiriou, so it now represents the perfect style created as a symbiosis of two different studios.
In the beginning, this project was a simple snapshot, of a very steep site, with perfectly clear views towards the sea, in a perfect position, which protects its inhabitants from the summer heat and strong winds, while it perfectly shimmers under the moonlight. The building was placed on the single available, naturally formed plateau on the site, so all unnecessary works that could spoil the relief were avoided. Simple elements were used to deal with difficult and very unstable steep terrain – the endless sea view and gigantic horizon made it worth while.
This amazing structure is defined by 3 volumes, placed along the contour lines. The end product is a result of the division of a rectangular volume into 3 parts while staggering the middle part towards the east. This break is enhanced by the use of various materials and alteration of the design.
The main features of the central volume (where the day activities are hosted) are the cladding with local Arcadian stone - dry stone construction both internally and externally on concrete frame and brick infill -, pitched gabled roof with roof slates and the fireplace on the narrow end framing the view. The design has references to the local architecture (where the Tsakonian “Makrinaria” are met) incorporating changes to the form and size of the openings in order to achieve better results on the bioclimatic output and view. Floor to ceiling openings enhance the dual aspect feature without affecting the monolithic quality while the views cross on all sides. The staggering of the western wall from the outline of this volume creates a long and narrow circulation area under a flat parapet roof that connects all three volumes.
Two white blocks are set back on either side of the main volume (where the bedrooms and toliets are hosted) acting as reference to the minimalism and sincerity of our attempted architectural language away from heavy decorative features and overstatements.
At the intersection of the three volumes two fair faced concrete beams act as “connectors” subtly underlining the junction of the 3 blocks.
Finally, white render reflects the sun, the stone cladding offers its thermal mass connecting the building with the surroundings and together protect the inhabitants from the weather conditions. A configuration revealing the endless view to the horizon and was born out of consideration for the steep relief and the local traditional materials.
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