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photos by erieta attali
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The house isset on a hillside to the north of Varkiza 700 meters from the sea. To thesouth-southeast stretches the southern part of the Saronic golf while to thenorth and to the west rise the southern borders of Mt. Hymmetus. Thesurrounding area, comprising some wooded parts, is relatively sparsely built.The house is analyzed into three buildings, each one of them having a differentfunction. A central building housing the sitting room, the kitchen, thedining-room and the library to the north, a building containing the bedrooms;to the south, a guest-house. At a purely functional level, this breaking-downallows for a better isolation of the different activities and it protects theprivacy of the residents. The disposition of the buildings with regard to theentrance reflects the function and importance of each one of them. The centralbuilding, facing the entrance, acquires increased weight while, from the sameposition, only the short side of the building containing the bedrooms isvisible. In this way, the gaze of the person entering the house focuses on thecentral building and on the square intervening between it and the guesthouse,the latter being visible at the background. The positioning of the buildings atdifferent angles defines multiple visual trajectories. Moreover, the anglescreated by the axes of the buildings emphasize the perspective of theintervening spaces. The symmetry of the structures and the morphologicalindependence of the buildings enhance these phenomena. At the same time, thebreaking-down of the house into different buildings confers increasedimportance to the exterior spaces of stay and movement, which in this waybecome a composing element of the residence. Between the building at thecenter, the guesthouse and the pool, is created a square with a view to the seathat combines the functions of an open-air sitting room and dining room. Thecommunication between the buildings is carried out to a large extent under theopen sky, through corridors that traverse or surround the central building.With openings to the four points of the horizon, this building functions bothas a communication junction and as a meeting-point. An inclined corridor leadsfrom the main entrance to the central building from where one can reach theother buildings. Indeed, the axis north – south, connecting the bedrooms withthe square and the guesthouse, passes through the central building.  Thebuilding complex is inspired by the idea of the creation of a private residenceusing proportions and materials that belong to the vocabulary of the public,monumental architecture.