This angular residence in Sikamino, designed by Tense Architecture, appears to rise out of its dominant and rural surroundings like a slightly elevated strip of earthy crust. Its sculptured roof, planted with helichrysum, drosanthemum, lavender, gauras and thyme, can be walked on and hosts the living spaces of the residence under its central area, while the sleeping quarters occupy the edges. An additional, fully underground level has been introduced to provide a space for the increased needs of agricultural life.

The building shell is of reinforced concrete, exposed on roofs and walls, while the iron frames, sun-protecting blinds and metallic shutters enhance the sense of privacy. The synergy between architectural and structural design is absolute, as their development was researched concurrently right from the start. The form was determined by the inclined field itself: the informally rhomboid shape of the residence was imposed by its inherent length and its orientation towards the Euboean sea. The Sykamino residence seems to be effectively two-faced, as it’s integrated in its field but still manifests its vigor; its merging is deliberately incomplete. It’s not a camouflage building, but instead benefits from a strong, distinct and open architecture.

The project was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Mies van Der Rohe Award 2013.

Images © Filippo Poli | Project team: Tilemachos Andrianopoulos, Kostas Mavros, Thanos Bampanelos