Architects: Divercity Architects
Project Architect: Nikolas Travasaros
Interior Space Consultant: Sophia Vantaraki
Landscape Architect: H. Pangalou & Associates
Lighting Designer: Alkestie Skarlatou
Industrial design consultant: Manos Vordonarakis
Completion year: 2012
Photography: Erieta Attali
Location: Athens, Greece
This private residence in Psychiko, an affluent suburb of Athens, was designed for maximum freedom of movement and flexibility. The house is divided into three distinct zones: a stone core inspired by the defensive rock of the Acropolis, an amphitheatrical upper floor, imagined as a pair of binoculars framing the expansive city views, and a transparent living area that occupies the space between them. Each zone is connected through a notional ribbon running through the site.
A series of surprises playing with light and scale, the design exploits the tension between conflicting elements – opaqueness and transparency, intimacy and openness, curves juxtaposed with angular geometry. In contrast with the fluid interior, the external wall is clad in stone, sheltering the residence from the surrounding buildings. This boundary peels away to create an intimate garden that opens up to the neighbouring house, which belongs to the same family.
The sweeping arc of the external wall is echoed by the swimming pool, a canal that connects the front and back of the house. With an entrance camouflaged in the stone wall, the marble garage doubles as a gallery for the owners’ collection of vintage cars and modern art. Glazed partitions, skylights, and slatted blinds allow natural light to penetrate the open-plan living spaces. A series of cuts and slits in the sculptural façade bring the outside in. Located on the first floor, the bedrooms are suspended in mid-air, with picture windows that frame the spectacular view across Athens. The effect is like standing on the edge of a diving board ready to plunge into the cityscape.