The Olive Tree House
The client brief for this small summer house located in Sithonia, Halkidiki, Greece called for a low-maintenance weekend home located on a pristine olive grove hill overlooking the sea, and beyond towards the famous monasteries of Mount Athos.
The project is highly experimental and employs cutting-edge digital CAD/CAM technology in an innovative way. All building components were pre-fabricated, nevertheless, the design itself carefully considered the sun’s position to provide shading and to complement the views. The 3m by 7m rectangular plan is aligned to the cardinal points and it is sub-divided into smaller rooms. A corridor connects these spaces but also aligns with the adjacent olive trees which, thus, become integral to the house’s layout.
The exterior envelope is a lightweight metallic surface which wraps around and it is movable, to provide maximum flexibility. The envelope’s perforated textile-like pattern is inspired by the shade of the olive trees. As the sun moves during the day the interior spaces are filled with ever-changing shadows.
This building forms part of an enquiry into sustainability and the provision for human comfort in architecture, by questioning the definition of inside and outside inhabitable space.
The project won the popular choice in the 2017 Architizer A+ Award (New York, NY) Architecture and Light category. It received the first prize for Best First Project by a young Architect 2012-2016 in the Domes Awards 2017 (Athens, Greece). It was a winner in the 2016 Surface Design Award (London, UK) in the Light & Surface Exterior category, where it was also shortlisted in the Housing Surface Exterior category.