Southwand House

COSTA NAVARINO, GREECE

2024

Southwand House is located in the southwestern Peloponnese, within the Costa Navarino development, a corner of Europe that enjoys a pleasantly warm mediterranean climate. Intended to be the summer escape destination for a dynamic northern european family, it sits in a beautifully landscaped area of the messinian productive landscape, among olive groves and cypress trees, overlooking the ionian sea that stretches across the horizon. The name “Southwand” is borrowed from the northern european culture, and nods to the occasional habit of enjoying the warmth of a rare sunny day by resting against a south-looking wall.

The house represents a blend of the heritage of messinian stone tower-houses found in the Mani region nearby, and the character that has been well established in the previous constructions of the development, that nod respectfully and continue a well-rooted architectural landscape of stone buildings that develop vertically.

In order to design a house that would reflect the vibrant lifestyle and facilitate the social life and activities of the family members, particularly in relation to the outdoors, we worked towards extending effortlessly the indoors living spaces to the exterior of the building shell. An architectural model driven by that principle constitutes a celebration and an homage to summer living.

Inspired by  the complex growth of folk architecture in Messinia, with its organically complex arrays of irregularly-shaped stone volumes, among which emerge piazzas, courtyards and “kalderimis”, we invented a system of well-defined orthogonal modules that when placed against each other, they create intricate relationships in the form of negative spaces, courtyards and passages. When this growth reaches the scale of a village, life streams spontaneously through these in-between spaces.

The proposal honours this tradition of modesty in materiality and scale of vernacular dwellings, comprising of modules from a compositional system rich in possibilities: units can be either configured on a single level, creating a diverse sequence of spaces, or stacked on top of each other to produce even more complex but enjoyable schemes for a living environment.

The modules are framed with stonewalls, whose mosaic of stone, sourced from quarries nearby, lends its colours to the buildings, allowing them to blend smoothly into their surroundings. On top of those walls rest the slabs in white concrete, a nod to modernist architecture, and extensive aluminium framed glazing intervals among rendered walls define the inner skin-facade. The woven interplay of these horizontal and vertical linear elements create multiple conditions that blur outlines, lend the feeling of outdoor lightness to the indoors, and the sense of protection to the outdoors in a seamless transition of spaces.

This non-static composition creates contrasting spikes within the landscape and can be interpreted as a poetic expression of the owners’ energy & constant movement, as the building appears to embrace a dynamic motion.

Situated in a plot with elongated proportions, the house is woven around a spine that highlights the longitudinal axis. This line functions as a boundary between private and social spaces, and  ties together a sequence of spaces . From the very first step into the house, from the central courtyard, the linear visual connection to the views unveils itself, and remains as a visual reference as all spaces connect to it in distinct relationships. Ever-present is also the water element, represented by an extensive pool, which relates to almost all ground floor rooms, while one can even jump into it from the top floor.  

The social areas are located on the left-hand side of the central axis, while the 4 bedrooms enjoy privacy secluded either on the left-hand side of this spine, or on the top floor. 

All internal spaces have their counterpart outdoors, proving that living essentials can be mirrored al fresco: cooking, relaxing at the lounge, showering and even exercising have designated areas both indoors and in semi-enclosed spaces. 

Sounthwand house is the expression of an ever-active model of living. In harmony both with its surroundings and its residents, it aspires to become a haven of good times, in contact with nature, and a circle of beloved friends & family. 

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

  • K-STUDIO

INTERIOR DESIGN

  • K-STUDIO

TECHNICAL DESIGN

  • DIMITRIS SOTIROPOULOS
  • GIORGOS DIMITRAKOPOULOS

LANDSCAPE DESIGN

  • H. PANGALOU & ASSOCIATES LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

K-STUDIO DESIGN TEAM

  • DIMITRIS KARAMPATAKIS
  • ALEXIS CHORTOGIANNIS
  • ACHILLEAS PLIAKOS
  • ARTEMIS MERKOUREA
  • THIBAUD STELMASZYK
  • DIMITRA PAVLAKOU
  • DIMITRIS GIANNELOS
  • STEVI MELETSI
  • KATERINA SARAPTZIAN
  • ALEXANDRA ZACHARIADI
  • LILA SIMOU
  • TRISHA VAN DER MERWE

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

  • LIONTOS & ASSOCIATES

MECHANICAL ENGINEER

  • CONAP

LIGHTING DESIGNER

  • IFI

PLANNING CONSULTANT

  • DS-DESIGN

ACOUSTIC ENGINEER

  • G & N SCHUBERT CONSULTANTS

SOUND CONSULTANT

  • ATHENS PRO AUDIO

MAIN CONTRACTOR

  • TOMEC

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • ANA SANTL