Architect: Elina Kritikou - Kenzo Yamashita
Design Team: Petros Stavrakis, Aimilios Kourafas
Location: Limassol - Cyprus
Area: 665 sqm
Stage: Building Permit
The site of the project is an advantageous yet complicated plot, with views to the sea and a challenging triangular shape that also involves several height differences. In the case of its context, the main challenge of this particular project is the need to absorb the height differences of the plot, while simultaneously allowing maximum possible views towards the sea and the landscape. In the case of the brief on the other hand, the challenge is to design a space that successfully exhibits in an engaging way the work of arts collected by the owner, while also fulfilling the requirements for the rest of the functions.
The way to solve this project is not by following the usual design development process, but by inventing a “new type” of house which corresponds directly to the challenges of the design brief and the requirements of the distinctive user.
The functions of the house are “plugged” into a long corridor which becomes the spine of the building. This long feature does not only serve as circulation; it becomes an active elongated exhibition space that links together the rest of the functions, while also revealing the art works. The volumes which are plugged into the corridor have both views towards the landscape and the art works exhibited on the corridor; The object in exhibition is both the artworks and the landscape itself.
As you enter the building from the central volume, the house is conceptually divided into two sectors – the private spaces on the left side (which includes the bedrooms and services), and the common spaces on the right side (which includes a living room, a dining area and a kitchen.) The way the functions are connected through the spine give the building privacy as it integrates a specific journey through the building.
The Primary concept is to slice the plot with four prominent vertical dividers and at the same time the strong linear horizontal corridor - Gallery unifies the spaces.
The atmosphere created is dynamic and monumental; the user experiences the house like a proper gallery. The way natural light enters the house is also an important aspect in achieving the desired atmosphere and brightness.
The form of the building is not merely compromised to the plot, but absorbs the height differences by introducing functions at a lower level. The winter room is the main feature of this lower level, as it connects the house with the landscape. The house is also orientated according to the plot contours, helping to further absorb the height differences.
Exterior spaces are treated with the same attention and notion as the interior spaces. An amphitheater incorporated in the landscape overlooks the exterior areas and swimming pool. The elongated swimming pool extends from the winter room of the lower level and a concrete envelope wraps the building, defining the levels of the shaped plot and giving adequate privacy.