House in Karpathos

OOAK Architects

 

The sparse, untamed and dramatic landscape was the starting point for OOAK architects' design. Every manmade alteration would be visible in this unique lot with its jagged, textured cliffs that descend into the grand Aegean Sea. The question became how to introduce a foreign object - a house - into this spectacular landscape, enhancing its qualities without altering its character. Rather than trying to mimic the landscape, the house is gently placed on the site as an object, leaving the surrounding landscape as untouched as possible. Landscape and building are perceived as two distinct elements that together create a new entity - much in the way a perfect shell fuses with a rock over time and gradually becomes part of the rock formation. Two contrasting objects, living in symbiosis, enhancing and complementing each other.

The site has two natural plateaus, one higher and one lower. In order to take full advantage of the views and access some closer to the sea, the building extends beyond the higher plateau, hovering over the landscape. This cantilever effect has a strong presence that augments the full experience of the site both from the inside and out. From the inside, it creates the illusion that the house is hovering over the sea, whilst from the exterior it further accentuates the contrast between the manmade and the natural.

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