KRATER

TYPE: rural

LOCATION: Antiparos, Cycladic Islands, Greece

PROJECT: new private vacation home, exterior spaces and interiors

DATE: 2001-2004

DESIGN CONCEPT
Situated on the top of a hill, the house has been conceived as an inhabitable Crater, a dwelling which is inextricably linked to the landscape that forms it. Its location on the hilltop presented two basic challenges for the design: protection from the strong Aegean sea winds and minimisation of the visual impact of the house from the village settlement on the foot of the hill. The concept of the Crater was ideally suited to confront both challenges. The main outdoor living areas were ‘dug’ into the landscape, forming a sunken area protected from the full force of the winds, while a two-storey stone volume was positioned so as to block the prevailing northeast summer winds. Since all the build elements were sunken into the landscape, only the upper storey of the stone volume is visible from the village.

The primary objective of the design process was to explore the unique sensual identity of the site (genius loci), engaging the inhabitant / visitor in a complementary dialogue between the intervention and the natural beauty of the existing landscape and creating events and experiences that spring from the powerful presence of the landscape.

The four basic ingredients of the dwelling are: stone, ‘lava flow’, ‘alien’ and water.
·Stone: stone surfaces define the borders of the Krater. On the north side, a two-storey stone volume protects the Krater from the wind and houses the living room and bedrooms. On the east, stone angled walls surround the Krater and form the entrance ramp. The south side features a stone volume with metal beams and bamboo roof. The west side is open to sea views.
·‘Lava flow’: A path flows under the lap pool, like lava overflowing from the Krater, directed towards the guest house. Stone walls form its boundaries, folding back to let a small garden come to life. The guest house consists of a two sheltered spaces and a courtyard in between them. One room is visible while the other is buried into the landscape.
·‘Alien’: A long purely rectangular white volume is placed inside the Krater. Its central location reflects the cultural importance of its use: the preparation and enjoyment of food. Large glass sliding doors blur the boundaries between interior and exterior living space. The kitchen windows frame specific views of the pool and the surrounding small islands.
·Water: A 25-meter lap pool marks the Krater’s western boundary, in axis with a small rocky island north of Antiparos and opens vews of the sunset. The swimmer experiences a visual unification of the pool water surface and the sea, through the overflow on the western edge of the pool. The lap pool becomes deeper and wider as in enters the Krater’s main courtyard.

PROJECT TEAM:
A. Vaitsos, C. Loperena, M. Doxa & K. Gudsell
M. Kyriazis
G. Cavoulacos
Doxiadis +
Oliaros s.a.
K. Gudsell