A sunken area was situated on top of a hill on Antiparos, in the Cycladic islands, Greece. Deca Architecture conceptualized the challenge of filling in this crater with a primitive inspired dwelling that was both wind protected from the Aegean Sea and modestly out of view from the village below. The vast areas of the house lies underground, with straight lined boxes jutting out of the hillside constructed out of stone that fits seamlessly into the rugged landscape.
Deca Architecture really concentrated on tying the idea together with a strong concept. They explored the flow and the interweaving of the four basic ingredients of the dwelling: Stone, 'lava flow', 'the alien' and water. Here is an excerpt from the architects explaining the 4 areas.
Stone: stone surfaces define the borders of the Krater. On the North side, a double height stone volume protects the Krater from the wind and houses multiple sleeping rooms and public gathering spaces. On the East, stone angled walls surround the Krater and form the entrance ramp. The South side features a stone volume, with a metal structure that supports a bamboo roof. Finally the West is open to sea views.
'Lava Flow': A path flows under the lap pool, like lava overflowing from the Krater. It is 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 two sheltered spaces and one roofless room (courtyard), in between them. One room is visible, the other is buried into the landscape.
'Alien': A long rectangular white volume is placed inside the Krater. It houses activities linked to the preparation and the consumption of food. Large glass sliding doors blur the boundaries between the interior space and the exterior courtyard. The kitchen windows frame specific views of the pool and the surrounding small islands.
Water: A 25 meter long lap pool marks the Krater's Western boundary, in axis with a small rocky island north of Antiparos. The swimmer experiences a visual unification of the pool water surface and the sea, through the overflow on the western edge of the pool, right at the moment when turning for a breath. The lap pool becomes deeper and wider as it enters the Krater's main courtyard.
What a clever concept that only accentuates such a beautiful and environmentally sensitive design.