Meadow Dwellings

Meadow Dwellings
Six courtyard houses in western Peloponnese

In the Western Peloponnese, we were asked to design a series of vacation dwellings on an endless rural meadow. The plot is a linear horizontal plane close to the sea with an enchanting pine forest in between. Its southern side overlooks a hill with archaeological findings, while a dense olive grove borders the northern side. Vast rural cultivations on flat land surround the plot and shape the area’s unique character. In this proposal, we explored the concept of vacation houses not as an idyllic parenthesis within the Greek countryside but as a system developed alongside agricultural cultivation, embracing and showcasing the beauty of dwelling next to cultivated land.
Four synthetic gestures compose this proposal.

  1. A system of brick walls is set on the lines of a planning grid, with the module being a brick. These walls create six enclosed courtyards that open towards the south, providing views of the hill and the archaeological site, while defining the circulation path on the northern boundary of the plot.
  2. A linear radiant slab made of white concrete rests atop the walls near the plot’s northern boundary. This design choice allows all living spaces in the dwellings to be developed along a single line, minimizing the intervention’s impact on the cultivated landscape.
  3. A series of openings is proposed in the slab for the habitable areas of each house, highlighting the indoor, semi-outdoor, and outdoor spaces through its structure, with the transition between them being one of the most essential elements of Mediterranean living.
  4. A low linear limestone plinth is proposed as a synthetic tool to define the boundaries of the plot. On the southern boundary, this plinth is transformed into a water canal infrastructure to facilitate the daily planting process through the water agriculture canals of the area.

The project’s materiality is inspired by the locally available materials that the clayey land provides. A thermally insulated clay brick manufactured in an industry close to the plot has been chosen for all the proposed walls. Meanwhile, the walls facing the circulation are perforated using the same brick module, creating semi-transparency from the path toward the common living spaces. Local limestone has been selected for the floor of the habitable spaces, while walnut wood is utilized for the furniture and interior party walls.

The landscape approach aims to highlight the linearity of the proposal and create an ecosystem capable of evolving. A series of cypresses are placed along the circulation path, wheat cultivation is chosen for every courtyard to integrate with the agricultural character of the site, and a large pine tree is carefully placed in each courtyard to pay homage to the nearby pine forest.

Location: Zacharo, Elis, West Greece

Architects: P4architecture

Design Team: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, Evangelos Fokialis, Konstantinos Pyliotis, Panayiota Kyriakou, Chara Kaika

3D Visualization: Michalis Meggios

Area: 370 m2

Project Year: 2024

Project Type: Commission