The addition is in Psychico, a suburb within the metropolitan area of Athens, on a 700m2 plot with an 170m2 existing house dating to 1962 (now apartment 1). The new structure includes a 90m2 1-bedroom apartment (apartment 2: ground level- bedroom, 1st floor- living) and an 160m2 2-bedroom apartment (apartment 3: 1st floor- entrance and bedrooms, 2nd floor- living). Both new apartments have their main entrance on the first floor, accessed via an open staircase and a small elevator that continues up inside apartment 3.
The suburbs were meant to present a more relaxed and spacious alternative to urban living. The comfortable new homes, with their simulated naturality of the private garden and the quiet discreet surroundings, provided the ground for the development of new loose urban lifestyles. However, the pressure from the ever-growing intensity of land-use within the city resulted in such building densities and typologies in most suburbs, including Psychico, that compromised the very essence of this new looseness even from its original inception.
This project’s program is exemplary as to the densification of one suburban plot, with the building-to-site area ratio rising from 24% to 60%.
The design attempts to update the architectural conditions for the culture of urban looseness, amidst the speculative suburban building-volume swelling.
A 22 meter long white volume-block, largely closed to the street, tops the front elevation. The building’s unconcealed scale, uncompromised by the continuous space interior layouts, accepts large size as the field of relaxed residential living.As the houses take-off from the natural garden level, view fragments of isolated instances of nature, cityscape or the distant mountain skyline seek to offspin attention to a selective environment.
The top floor deck is a full garden of pure artificiality, with a strip of bamboo plants and a clear-water pond that register wind movement, sunshine or raindrops.
Large scale, views of nature and the city, the constructed landscape of the elevated garden, all are meant to perpetually question and loosen the homely and the intimate introversion of the private home and family life. Hopefully, to provoke sparks of self-consciousness that will favor innovation in the tenants’ lifestyles.