18.1.2010

Aloni House en Antiparos, Greece

En el pasado, los muros de piedra en seco organizaron la tierra con fines agrícolas constituyendo la más prominente intervención del hombre en el paisaje de las islas Cícladas en Grecia. Las paredes retenían la tierra y transformaron una topografía escarpada en una serie de mesetas de cultivo. Hoy en día, las islas están siendo remodeladas por una fuerza muy diferente: la demanda de casas de vacaciones. El diseño de la casa utiliza el antecedente de la tierra y los muros de piedra para crear un paisaje artificial que es a la vez de uso rural y doméstico.

The design of the house is a dual response to the particular topography of the site and to the rural domestication techniques that in the past shaped the raw ‘Cycladic island’ landscape.

In the past, dry-rubble stone walls domesticated the land for agricultural purposes and were the most prominent man-made interventions in the landscape. The walls retained earth and transformed a steep topography into a series of arable plateaus. Today, the Cycladic islands are being reshaped by a very different force: the demand for holiday homes. The design uses the precedent of earth-retaining stone walls to create an artificial landscape that is both rural and domestic in use.

The site is a natural saddle where two slopes meet. In the North-South axis the slope rises between two hills while in the East-West axis the slope drops, opening to the sea views. Two long stone walls bridge the hills allowing the house to nestle in the space within while maintaining the continuity of the landscape which flows over it. This simple strategy blurs the edges of the house and makes its mass imperceptible within the broader skyline of the island.

The presence of the house is revealed by the four courtyards carved into the flowing landscape. The courtyards separate the living spaces into five interior areas, an arrangement which resembles the fifth side of a dice. As a result, the house is protected from the elements yet is full of natural light, generous views and a compact but rich relationship to its setting.

The name of the house itself, Aloni, refers to the remains of a crop-harvesting circle that was found and preserved as part of the agricultural past of the site.

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