This study was conducted to facilitate the needs of a three member family for a house in a suburb of Athens, which would include garden, a swimming- pool and parking facilities, as well as the collocation of an architectural office space with a five to ten-people capacity.
Considering the densely built area and therefore, the enforced organization of the spaces in the vertical axis, along with the need for diversification of the two functions; the residence and working premises; arises the idea to detach the two functionally different building volumes through a large scale vacuum. This gap hosts the desirable garden of the residence which separates but also unites the two spaces, enriching them with natural lighting, ventilation and greenery. The house is developed on three levels and designed to be the highest point of the building, giving the owner the best possible views of the city and the optimum ventilation and natural lighting. On the other hand, the office space is placed in the basement and the semi basement area accessed by an independent entrance, providing easy access and correlation with the environment.
“As a child’s sketch, my house hovers over a green garden. It reminds me the hanging tree-houses which are trying to escape from the fabric of the city. I take the weight off my feet on my couch and throw sneaky glances down to my lemon tree that blooms. I look forward to slide down to my office, my cave, to withdraw from the glowing sunlight and the view of my neighbors. When I am there, I feel calm and safe, ready to design the next project… “
Contemporary architecture shall not only address the conventional human needs from a functional, practical and aesthetic level, but also should be able to compose dreams and fantasies, answer wishes and fully understand human nature. Without this very creation of a parallel reality, architecture is unable to promote the spirit and feed the mind, thus to contribute to the development of nowadays society. The study above attempts to redefine the boundaries between the residence and the workplace. It generates a pragmatic experience of transition from one environment to the other, while serving all the functional needs of the design program. Another challenge is to incorporate the forgotten delightful garden of the traditional house typology, in a mass-build area. By using an unconventional way to achieve this goal the main desire of the owner to have a garden despite the small size of the site, is fulfilled. Lastly, through the effort to communicate with the unconscious, it gives the floating volume of the building the familiar form of the home symbol, defying the usual approach of modern architecture.
The study therefore ends up to be dual, determined to balance between two parallel worlds: the conscious instituted by practicality and aesthetics and the unconscious established by a strictly personal, introvert monologue and fantasy.
Three story house and architectural office.
Architect: Kirki Ioulia Mariolopoulou
Location: Ionias 13, N. Psychiko, Athens
Kirki Ioulia Mariolopoulou is an Athens based architect, selected to participate at the 8th Young Architects Biennial to take place in Athens in September, proudly supported by SIAS SA.