House on the hillside

Private residence built on the hills overlooking a town and the sea

15 December 2007
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    The site consists of 2 adjacent plots on a hillside, overlooking the town of Limassol and the Mediterranean Sea that is located a few kilometers away. As the intention was to secure the best possible views, it was decided from start to place the house on the higher part of the site.
    All living / public areas are located on the ground level and are organizedaround a large, square veranda that functions like a courtyard, an elementfound in houses throughout the Mediterranean. The sleeping areas are located on the first floor in an entirely private zone. The site’s sloping topography also allowed for the construction of a basement with a guest room, a study, a laundry room and storage space.
    The forms of the building remain straight forward and simple, reflecting the clarity of the floor plans as well as the changes in the spatial organization at different levels. Beyond this, the building’s forms aim in addressing certain practical issues that arise from the southwestern orientation of the plot. The verandas on the first floor function as overhanging shading devices that control the impact of the sunlight in the areas under them, namely the main entrance and the living/dining area. Also and in an attempt to deal further with the site’s microclimate, several openings in the building’s envelope were planned with the aim to create opportunities for cross ventilating certain interior areas and thus reduce their need for mechanical cooling during the summer.
    It is common practice over here to crowd the roofs of buildings with solar panels, air conditioning units, water tanks and other equipment. This often results to significant aesthetic compromises that affect the original intentions of architects in their designs. The cylindrical “volume” on the roof of this particular house is a semi circular wall carefully placed and properly oriented in a way to “hide” all this equipment. At the same time the “cylinder” softens and even complements the overall composition of volumes in the design.
    The main materials used were reinforced concrete and plastered bricks – aconstruction method that is very typical in this part of the world. Other materials used were aluminum framed windows with double glazing, wood parquet, ceramic tiles and iron railings.

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