Atrium Habitat

Atrium Habitat
A vacation house in Messenia
“I want nothing more than to speak simply, to be granted that grace. Because we’ve loaded even our song with so much music that it’s slowly sinking and we’ve decorated our art so much that its features have been eaten away by gold” Seferis G. An Old Man on the River Bank

Located in the picturesque mountains of Western Messinia, Greece, just a stone’s throw away from the coastline, we were entrusted with the task of designing a vacation house for a family seeking to reconnect with their husband’s childhood memories. Eager to create a dwelling that embraced both unobstructed views and a profound connection to the natural surroundings, we embarked on an intriguing challenge; to elevate the main level of the house towards achieving an unobstructed view, while also maintaining an immense relationship with the landscape and surrounding nature.

Nestled amidst the untamed beauty of the Mediterranean wilderness and the rustic charm of the Greek countryside, this synthesis delves into the harmonious integration of a vacation house within its Mediterranean backdrop. Our exploration delves into the delicate equilibrium between the built environment and the pristine landscape, an ongoing pursuit within our architectural practice. In this
instance, we sought to expand the boundaries between domestic space and the encompassing landscape, allowing the house to  merge seamlessly with its environment. The design revolves around a cluster of dwelling rooms arranged around a small fragment of untouched nature, creating an enclosed courtyard of tranquility and introspection.

During the conceptualization process, the abstract form of the square emerged as a pivotal layout choice, symbolizing the notions of enclosure, dwelling, and communal living throughout history. Its enigmatic simplicity and the repetitive nature of its four equal sides perfectly aligned with the functional requirements of a contemporary vacation house nestled within the Mediterranean landscape. Along the western boundary of the central courtyard, all the public living areas of the house seamlessly interact with the serene inner sanctuary. On the opposite end, towards the eastern part of the composition, the three master bedrooms are thoughtfully positioned in close proximity to one another, fostering a sense of intimacy and privacy. Towards the northern section of the square, a continuous wall recedes, giving rise to a shaded gallery that serves as the primary entrance to the house, elegantly accommodating ancillary spaces. Finally, in the southern part of the square, a generous semi-outdoor cantilevered space frames the breathtaking views of the sea and the sprawling Mediterranean landscape, serving as an essential shaded extension of the central courtyard.

The project’s materiality embraces the surrounding landscape. The plinth is crafted from excavated stone, merging the architecture with the land. The structure features white concrete with white aggregates, reflecting the Mediterranean light, while natural oak wood details enrich the interior, creating warmth and a connection to nature.

Location: Messenia, Greece

Architects: P4architecture

Design Team: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, Konstantinos Pyliotis, Panayiota Kyriakou

3D Visualization: blankwall.avs

Interior Design Consultant: Andreas Petropoulos 

Mechanical Engineer Consultant: Sourilas Konstantinos (KNS engineering consultants)

Sculptors of Marble Model: Dousis Marble (Konstantinos Dousis, Panagiotis Vasilakis, Nikolaos Doulos)
Area: 220 m2 

Project Year: 2021 

Project Type: Commission