Olea House

The building is located in the southern suburbs of Patras, in the outskirts of the urban area, characterized by narrow roads and low building density. The project involves the design of two new, separate one-story houses, considering each one’s privacy.

The main idea creates a singular, elongated building that accommodates both houses, one primary and one secondary, arranged in a series. The common typology, adapted to the traits of each house, creates a composition with a common denominator and a common architectural syntax. The result of this typology is the perception of both houses as one building.

The owner asked for special care to be given to the design of outdoor areas. This provided the starting point for the organization of interior and exterior spaces, benefitting from the existing olive grove in the property. Thus, a sheltered open-air courtyard is designed to be dominated by an olive tree, placed at the center of the building, with the rest of spaces arranged in the periphery.

The architectural treatment of the main house includes two clear zones, one for the lounge – kitchen – dining area, and one for the bedrooms; they are connected through a transparent, protected, open-air sheltered living space. The oblong axis of movement integrates the rest of the program in interchanging closed and open spaces.

The large sliding frames of the lounge merge indoors and outdoors, creating an ample, open living room adjacent to the sheltered outdoor area, accomplishing day-long outdoor living. All interiors can be extended outdoors, expanding their limits according to everyday needs. This articulation accommodates multiple scenarios and composes a perpetual interplay between inside and out.

The creation of an atrium under a convenient opening at the roof slab brings in abundant natural light and air. Concurrently, the patio becomes the necessary open area for daily activities, endowed with privacy.

The main entrance is placed perpendicular to the house, in relation with the dominant horizontal axis and its monumental scale; combined with the recess of the entrance door, it highlights the entrance to the building emphatically, and gently leads the visitor inside.

The dominant material is fair-face concrete, wrapping around the building. This way, both houses are united, open-air sheltered areas are created and views are framed. The building is lifted from the ground and generates a captivating image of levitation.

The minimalist construction, the visibility of each component’s structural role and the use of untreated materials, result in a functional building with strong personality, which becomes an identifiable landmark in the surrounding urban area.

Photography:

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