Τhe residence occupies a superb location on the peninsula of Sithonia, very near the water’s edge. The landscape is composed of small beaches within a cove framed by low cliffs, chaparral, Aleppo pines and olive trees. Inspired by the harmony and the unparalleled natural beauty of the place, the basic design concept, was to integrate the final building harmoniously into the natural environment and reduce the usage energy footprint.
The new building is designed, based on the previous form of it as the bearing structure is maintained. The residence comprises five large rooms with en suite bathrooms, plus a living room, kitchen and auxiliary spaces. The ground floor of the low two-story, flat-roof building is largely incorporated within the slope. Thus, while the two eastern rooms on the first floor have the privilege to enjoy a direct sea view from above, the other three enjoy immediate access to their environment via private courtyards/open-air living rooms under reed awnings.
In order for the visitor to have unobstructed view, no fences were placed around the property. The only clear border is the edge of the road which delimits the entrance. The landscaped environment echoes the natural forms of the slope and ends at the beach. To the local rocks and cliffs we added olive and pomegranate trees, bushes and aromatic herbs. A small area was turned into a kitchen garden so that guests can have their own fresh vegetables. The main purpose was the smooth transition from the geometric- anthopogenic to the natural environment. In order to achieve this, all arbours, reed screens and exterior flooring in the surrounding of the building are aligned on a different axis to that of the main building. In addition, intenced curves, dominate mostly to the natural floors where the surrounding area of the house meets the landscape.
In choosing colours and materials for both the interior and exterior of the building we drew heavily on the landscape. Where the building meets the ground we had it lined with local stone, using the dry-stone technique. In this way the building seems to grow out of the slope. The stucco and coatings were painted in earth tones reflecting the sand and rocks, and combined with soft blue-green colours, inspired by the sea, pines and olive trees, which were used for furniture and textiles. Throughout the day, the colours are transformed by light entering through the reed screens and wooden awnings of the façade. To ensure no interior space appears washed out, we used a livelier wood varnish, a darker blue and brighter green wherever natural light is weak. The contrast between the stronger colours and the white ceilings and floors creates a tension that allows for a better balance between exterior and interior.
In the four upstairs rooms we made use of Dionysis Tsasis’ talent as a painter to decorate large wall surfaces with original works, based on elements of greek culture and nature. Inspired by countryside and garden, these works directly quote traditional Greek art. Each room is unique, with its own theme: pomegranate tree, olive tree, swallows and wildflowers, poppies.
Finally, aiming the reduction of the ecological footprint and the energy burden of the building, a pioneering management system for rainwater and residence’s sewage water was employed, in order to select and infiltrate both through a natural bioreactor and reuse them in garden irrigation.