Both a landscape and a house

White limestone shell immerses house into Greek island cliff side

by Megan 20 December 2012
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    Voronoi’s Corrals is both a landscape and a house in the island of Milos, Greece. Being in rural and natural setting, the project challenged DECA architecture to understand the landscape in order to confront the complex relation of architecture with its context. This included confronting basic pragmatic issues of infrastructure and sustainability and also less concise yet important issues such as how to preserve and evolve the character of a landscape through its land use or the manner in which scale, materiality, and assembly can directly correlate to the existing qualities of the place.

    The project began by identifying the most poignant locations to create a network of experiences within a 60,000 sq m parcel of land. The landscape was activated by creating enclosures through which 300 sq m of domestic program were dispersed. Each enclosure/corral has a logic entirely derived from the site conditions.

    The 'Immersion Corral' is on a small plateau at the edge of the white cliffs which characterize the southern coast of the island. This area is exposed to the raw elements and the views are dominated by the coastline’s geological formations and an undisturbed horizon. The enclosure is a limestone shell which is shaped by the stacking, coursing and stepping of long limestone blocks that provide thermal protection and, like the cliffs, age naturally over long periods of time.

    The volume steps down to meet the landscape and echoes the slopes of the topography. It contains five distinct spaces divided by four courtyards. The 'Orchard Corral' is an area enclosed within a stone wall of over 700m in length. The corral is planted with 550 olive trees and several species of native flora in order to retain the agricultural nature of the property. As the topography slopes the stone wall increases in height to reveal the façade of three spaces which are otherwise hidden from view by the olive field above it.


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