Act of balance between human experience and the environment. A villa as a temple to the sun and the culture of the Greek islands
Act of balance between human experience and the environment. A villa as a temple to the sun and the culture of the Greek islands

Between the 180º westward view of the Cyclades archipelago and the strong winds blowing from the north, on the island of Antiparos, a hybrid architecture finds its place: ARP - Architecture Research Practice gives life to Villa Avlakia, a mixed-use structure between an embankment and a building in order to preserve the landscape and celebrate the native materials

Taking its name from the Greek word for the rocky gorges on which it stands, Villa Avlakia emerges from the landscape in the form of a supporting wall of local stone and then dazzles the eye with the monumental temple-like presence of the white volume resting on top of it

Act of balance between human experience and the environment. A villa as a temple to the sun and the culture of the Greek islands

Like a sculptor carving stone, the sun and the way it interacts with the site sculpt the white volume, influencing the shape of the building and the architects' compositional process. In this way, the distinctive interior inclination, the proportions, the symmetry, the repetition of openings, fuse together in this building shape and strategies of bio-climatic efficiency

Act of balance between human experience and the environment. A villa as a temple to the sun and the culture of the Greek islands

The white monolith and the supporting wall that organically reflects the topography of the territory houses the areas dedicated to the daytime and social functions of the house. On the lower level dug into the slope, stone volumes accommodate the bedrooms and open like an amphitheater towards the sea: an underground guest house that assumes the form of a containment wall made of agricultural stone which embraces the panoramic platform projected towards the horizon

Act of balance between human experience and the environment. A villa as a temple to the sun and the culture of the Greek islands

The project is inspired by the vernacular building tradition in terms of materials and techniques and at the same time elevates the spaces to new contemporary forms. Architecture, local economy and environmental sustainability combine organically in this project: local teams of technicians and workers, the use of Greek stone and marble, the careful analysis of passive-natural shading and ventilation, the use of solar energy. Everything contributes to making this project a balancing act between human experience and environmental and cultural sustainability

Act of balance between human experience and the environment. A villa as a temple to the sun and the culture of the Greek islands

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