According to Philip Olmesdahl, SAOTA director and project leading architect, construction has already started on Epique Island, a 75-villa residential estate located on the 2.6-hectare peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea, for client Aksoy Holdings. Villas enjoy exclusive use of a large private beach with various associated amenities, including a beach bar, ample ablution facilities, and a clubhouse with a lap pool and restaurant. There is a kids’ club offering daycare facilities for younger children, as well as a games room and secure lounge space for teenagers and young adults. The 136,000 m² size estate also includes a boutique hotel and a 250-berth marina. The region is a noteworthy summer destination, less than two hours from Istanbul and the villas have been designed to respond to this. The architectural language is contemporary; the feeling one of “barefoot” luxury. Villa designs reflect 10 variations of three types – each with a strong focus on achieving a panoramic view for the generous open-plan living space, and providing ample outdoor living areas to enjoy the Bodrum summer. Sustainability was an important consideration. The villas rely on passive design measures to reduce reliance on mechanical systems. Generous opening doors and windows promote cross ventilation. Primary living rooms are well shaded with generous overhands creating “outdoor rooms”. Natural light abundantly lights interiors, reducing use of artificial illumination. Courtyard spaces will be created off the villas, allowing all-season spaces where owners can take part in comfortable outdoor living. Buildings are executed to highest standards of insulation. Local materials were relied on to contribute to the sense of place and enhance the sustainability objectives. Electrical and mechanical systems are contemplated to reduce electrical demand, for both heating and cooling. Hydro warmed floors will be used, and in-ceiling concealed air conditioning will moderate indoor temperature as required. Water heating would be via heat pump systems to limit electrical demand. The villas will include state of the art control systems to mitigate energy wastage and compliment the lifestyle of the residents. Site-planning has focused on minimising impact on the environment; existing vegetation has been taken into account in the design, with mature trees retained or re-planted on the upper slopes. Excavation on the island has been carefully planned to limit the amount of soil and rock removed from the site, and substantial rock will be re-used to clad the villas. Roads, set back below tunnels, will limit the landscape intrusion, while visible roads will consist of smaller lanes, with localised parking areas.