OFFICE4 architecture practice redesigned and renovated an abandoned building, deserted during construction in the 1980s, meeting the owners’ need for a functional house up to the contemporary housing standards. The basic design challenge was the split-level logic that the existing building followed, whereas the sense of nature was intense, as the building stands in the center of a 5.000 acres plot with distinct geomorphology.
The bearing structure of the building was kept intact, while adjustments were made to the size of the windows and to elements of the exterior by adding canopies, as well as architectural protrusions to handle the facades harmonically as a whole.
The basic design intention was not only to take advantage of the exceptional view and the orientation of the building but also to use natural materials that blend with the surrounding environment and create coherence between the interior of the house and the intense geomorphology of the exterior.
The building showed many handling and design difficulties because of its age and the split-level logic. The technical difficulties that occurred due to the existing state of the building were tackled with the use of waterproofing and thermal insulation that were applied to the façade. The main goals were to waterproof, soundproof and thermally insulate the house to meet the current needs of a modern building, to integrate those materials in the design without tampering with the quality and the aesthetic outcome of the construction.
On the 1st level, the owners’ desire was to design an autonomous space with an independent entrance that serves as a guest house. The guest house consists of the sitting area, the kitchen, the bathroom, and an open bedroom and it was designed with a special rustic design. On the 2nd level, there is the parking area with workshop space. On the 3rd level, there are 2 kids’ bedrooms, a dressing room, the family’s bathroom, and a laundry room. On the 4th level, there is the main entrance with reception furniture, the guests’ WC, the kitchen and a small sitting area. A metallic sign in Morse code greets the visitor to the exterior of the house entrance. On the 5th level, there is the sitting area and the dining area, while the fireplace looms in the center of the space. This is an open space that brings out calmness, while the surrounding large windows bring light to the space and the exterior environment becomes one with the interior. One short flight of stairs leads to the top floor, the 6th level, right to the primary bedroom level, where there is also a small WC and a walk-in closet.
The lighting study was very important for the design as it takes advantage of the geometry of the house interior and simultaneously offers the possibility for dramatic lighting scenarios on different elements of the spaces.
The basic materials used were charcoal grey stone to the exterior, black metal on details, white stone to the background of the sitting area, cement mortar technique to resemble Tadao Ando’s Haute Concrete and wooden natural oak floor in herringbone weave pattern in the space of the sitting area. All the wooden surfaces, cladding and floors, used in the majority of the spaces are oak in natural color. In the kitchen white glass was used on the cabinets, Corian on the worktop and terrazzo on the floor.