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Residence in an olive grove

The plot is an unusual and inspiring place: In a traditionally agricultural area, raised and overlooking the gulf of Corinth, an old olive grove gently slopes towards the sea.

The approach is to maintain the agricultural character of the site, employing simple tools to allow interaction with its elements and to explore all its facets: Rather than cutting down the olive grove, the new elements are placed in its clearings. The building is positioned on the plot’s highest, most remote point, next to the existing cistern which is embedded in a rock.

The plot’s two breathtaking feelings – of being among the olive trees and of looking over the waves of their crowns to the sea and the mainland beyond – organize the uses and the form. The building is formed by two main elements: the plinth and the roof.  The plinth, which is a solid base built of stone, is positioned on the same level as the trees and therefore allows views onto the red earth and the beautiful stems of the old olives. The private uses of the building are accommodated here.

On top of the plinth is an airy pavilion. Here the everyday life of the inhabitants can unfold in a free flow between inside and outside. The space is covered by a wing-shaped planted roof which lifts its tip towards the sea view. The big roof also shades the outdoor areas and allows a pleasant use of the large continuous surface and a seamless circulation. At this level, above the crowns, one can overlook the olives. Their beautiful silver-gray texture which becomes a sea itself blends into the real sea beyond.

The building incorporates a number of environmental strategies: it is built from local stone, the ground floor is partly built into the earth and encircled by the olive trees providing for excellent microclimate, the roof is planted and the rain water is collected to water the olives.

Location

Platanos, Peloponnese, Greece

Area

400 m² built area, 0.7 Ha plot area

Date

2008

Scope

Masterplanning, Architecture