This family house in Arcadia designed by Panos Papassotiriou & Valia Foufa is a bioclimatic holiday retreat that offers a clear view to the sea, and is defined by a rectangular volume split into 3 parts using design and material variations. The building was placed on the only naturally formed plateau of the site available, in order to avoid unnecessary groundworks. Simple elements were used, to deal with a difficult, very unstable and steep terrain. The endless view of the sea and the horizon are overwhelming and therefore no particular effort was required to create views from the interior.

The main features of the central volume (where the day activities are hosted) are the cladding using local Arcadian stone – dry stone construction both internally and externally on concrete frame and brick infill – a pitched gabled roof with roof slates and the fireplace on the narrow end, framing the view. The design has references to the local architecture (where the Tsakonian “Makrinaria” can be found) incorporating changes to the form and size of the openings in order to achieve better results on the bioclimatic output and view. Floor to ceiling openings enhance the dual aspect feature without affecting the monolithic quality, while the view is accessible from all sides. The staggering of the western wall from the outline of the volume creates a long and narrow circulation area under a flat parapet roof that connects all three volumes.

Two white blocks are set back on either side of the main volume (where the bedrooms and WC’s are located) acting as reference to the minimalism and sincerity of the architectural language, away from heavy decorative features and overstatements. At the intersection of the three volumes two fair faced concrete beams act as “connectors”, subtly underlining the junction of the 3 blocks. Finally, white render reflects the sun, the stone cladding offers its thermal mass, connecting the building with its surroundings and protecting the inhabitants from the weather conditions.

Photos by Pygmalion Karatzas