Volcanic (Residence) by Stella and Pieros Pieris
2012 - 2013, Silver A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
The holiday retreat is located northeast of Santorini at Columbo, an area characterized by the active underwater volcano which lies 18 meters below sea level and raises 280 meters high from the bottom of the sea. Around the volcano area, there are several hydrothermal wells from which hot water gushes up to 220ºC. The volcano became famous in 1650 from the explosion which was accompanied by a tsunami known as the ¨The time of the Great Evil" and the creation a few years later of the" Virgin of the Good" church constructed to protect the locals from future natural disasters. The design of the house tries to capture the history and the strong elements of natural decomposition of the landscape by the thick layers of volcanic lava and intensity of the strong winds.
The intention of the architectural design of the residence is to redefine the characteristics of the traditional architecture of Santorini and integrate them into the design through a modern vocabulary. The facade of the building gives the impression of an eroded shell which in some places has been drilled by the forceful winds. The seemingly irregular and elongated shape of the building is the result of the narrow shape of the plot and the intent to ensure views toward the sea from all the rooms of the house. The internal domes , the cross-volts and the outdoor Jacuzzi which makes reference to a church steeple reinforce the playful nature of the plan. The digging of the mass of the residence from inside out and vice versa refers to the local construction technique of underground houses and gives a sculptural form to the building which resembles a rock hurled from the volcano. The understanding of daily and seasonal positions of the sun informed the shape and form of the openings of the house depending on the orientation and function of each room.
Design Challenges
Stella and Pieros Pieris did not encounter any design challenges while designing the award winning Volcanic Residence.
Production Technology
From an engineering point of view, the Volcanic Residence by Stella and Pieros Pieris is a good example of a highly-developed project.
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